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In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Stephen Krashen put forward a model of language learning distinguishing between language acquisition (acquiring a language by listening or reading and understanding) and language learning (conscious, effortful study and practice of language). Today, many people look at Krashen’s monitor model as just a “method from the past.” However, most of these ideas are still very much present in contemporary research — just under different names, such as implicit vs. explicit language teaching and learning.

This talk will share three of my studies using the acquisition/learning, or implicit/explicit, framework: one on elementary students learning Spanish, another with children and adults who were taught an artificial mini-language in the laboratory, and finally, a study currently in progress comparing two different teaching methods in beginning classes. Each study has different implications for teaching: (1) grammar instruction can be delayed to the end of years of input-based language study, (2) grammar instruction may have a negative effect on learners’ speaking fluency, and (3) a “narrow and deep” curriculum using high-frequency structures in context could be more effective than a traditional grammar-based curriculum… but since this last study is still in progress, attend the talk to find out if this is really the case!


Acquisition vs. Learning in 2021

Karen Lichtman (Associate Professor), Northern Illinois University


4:00 pm ET 5:00 pm ET
Open to all language educators
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All Languages
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Published August 26, 2021 by Angelika Kraemer • Updated August 26, 2021