What do you guys think about Krashen? is he a genius or an overated linguist? Is his theory right? Is Lingq based on his theory of input? I copy a paragraph from a web, to let you think.

“we see that Krashen was doomed historically
from the beginning. Although he and his followers have cited and produced
many studies, there always seems to be room for disagreement based on
methodology, definitions, orsomething else. It is clear that there is no getting
around the requirement that to make permanent changes in education, one
must use science. Krashen’s failure to adhere to this exposes the gap that
remains in teaching between art and science.”

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Where did you find that? Of course, there will always be critics of everything and, ultimately, we don’t know everything there is to know about how languages are learned. Anyway, I do think his method works and this particular criticism doesn’t seem to be particularly convincing. Of course, there will always be some discussion about methodology in any research line in the social sciences.

“I like Krashen, but I knew when I
submitted the article that he was out of favor with the highest authorities in our field. I was hoping that the editors would not mind-but they did”

Another quote from this article. it looks like many people (including the high authorities of langiuage learning) are against of Krashen. Why?

Here is the full article:

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That topic its so interesting for me because I work as a professional Spanish teacher full time. And i came to conclussion that the main problem in the official language learning system at classes is the INPUT, for every hour of class, should be 3 hours of input at home. Listening and reading. However it can be hard to convince students to do it if you dont know how.

Since 4 years i use the communicative method like i´ve been taught. If to do it good, i can say the communicative method it really works. My students end up speaking fluent Spanish. However since last year i tried to combine the communicative method at classes, with Krashen theorys,

It was not easy, i spent so many hours making for them interesting podcasts that they must listen at home, we can analize them and they write me if they have any questions. Also was even harder to find a way to make them spend the time listening the podcasts. They always gonna put excuses, like they have many work, lack of time or motivation to start, etc. But once i found a way to make them do it, The results were spectacular. Communicative methodic at class plus massive input at home made miracles. I have some students they went from 0 to speak fluently Spanish in only 10 months.

I´d like to read more about Krashen to keep developing this system. there is always room for improvement.

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This is a very interesting method. Thanks for sharing.
As for the article, my take on this, as a social scientist, is that academy very often prefers work that leads to publications and that can be compared to the methodology of the “hard sciences”, even if it turns out to be rather irrelevant to practice and actual learning.
I think that is the main reason for the academic disdain about Krashen’s work.

I think it is to say, Krashen, like any other figure, has some supporters, and some detractors.

Considering that Krashen is professor emeritus at the University of Southern California, he himself is firmly entrenched in academia-- “hated” professors don’t get very far in their careers. USC isn’t a institution for weak minds.

I’ve not read everything Krashen has written, but I believe his theories come from what was learned from linguistic experiments, testing classroom method A vs. classroom method B.

If his theories were totally rubbish, they would have been debunked long ago. So, i believe that he never would have gotten much farther than teaching at a community college.

No doubt, as long as linguists continue to research and test the best methods to learn a language, teachers will continue to innovate in the classrooms. Eventually, Krashen’s theories will be improved upon as linguists, cognitive scientists, and others make more discoveries about the human mind and language learning. Theories that no longer can be verified by experiment, including Krashen’s, will be discarded. There will certainly be better ideas in our future.

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Many teachers are frustrated, because most of students they dont get to C1 in a regular language school , of course there are a few who attain such a level but its not the norm. And is such an slowly process.

This is so frustrating to me and for many other teachers. I teach Spanish in Russia and over the years im trying different methods of teaching, and im seeing huge improvements ( i mean with time the number of my students speaking fluently is increasing).

Right now which is working best for me is:
50% of comprehensive imput (half of it at home), 30% output, 20% grammar.

Of course is not that simple, one must know what to do , how and when. How to correct the mistakes, etc etc. But making long history short these are the percentages.

I hope in future new methods and ideas will come… My goal as a teacher is to keep improving.

Im quite happy with the results of my students right now. But my dream would be to have a classroom where 100% of students would go from A1 to C1 in a year.
I guess with our current knowledge and technology thats for now impossible.


You’ll never get to 100% because motivation and personal interest/circumstances will always play a role. That’s what working with people entails.
But, of course, improving methodology so as to give a fair chance of real progress to everyone, is a worthy goal. Kudos to you for that goal and for the impressive progress you’ve made so far.
Many language languages are ineffective at best and actually harmful at worst, so your example is really something to look up to.
As a little piece of “advice”, if you allow me, once you’ve come up with a good combination of methods, my next step would be to try to make them work together as tightly as possible.
For example, by talking in the “communicative” classes about input material from the “input” part, etc.
Congratulations, Josu!

"50% of comprehensive imput (half of it at home), 30% output, 20% grammar.
" … that sounds like a great combination!

I think of it as

  1. comprehension-input activities – trying to get meaning

  2. fluency-output activities – trying to improve flow and form.

With most of my students, I focus time (approximately)

70% on comprehension-input activities (listening, reading, watching videos, and discussing the main ideas and key vocabulary from those activities)

30% on fluency-output activities (conversation, practicing intonation and pronunciation, imitation, reading aloud, practicing presentations, writing assignments, dictation & transcriptions, grammar work)

How many hour of classroom instruction per week are your students getting? How many hours of homework?

I ask this because number of hours per week is very meaningful.

2 days per week, 2 hours and a half each day. That makes 5 hours per week. I usually give for homework a few exercises of drills but most of the homework is voltunary listening and reading .

I´ve made a group in Vkontakte (the russian Facebook) where they have lots of audios with text i personally recorded, based on the levels and the material we did on the classes.

In this group im also putting materials from youtube or podcasts from other website, basicly anything i think could be interesting and is just a bit harder than their current level. The most important is that they choose, the group is like a mini lingq just for them.

i always recommend Lingq but unfortunatelly 95% never do it because is a paid service, and in the spanish library is harder to find interesting materials (there are a lot, but also there are a lot which are not). Usually for them its easier to open our group on their phone and to watch thats new and listen to it.

Latly im also reading about Chomsky, they views on how we acquire languages are very interesting aswell.

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you are getting incredible results getting many students to c1 with only 250 teaching hours in a year! i think -not sure - the u,s, government’s FSI takes 750 hours of spanish to get to c1!!

Sorry, i never wanted to say that my students reach C1 in a year. English is not my first language so i could be not explaining myself good.

these are the statistics of my students during first year studying Spanish with my guidance on a private schol, 2 times per week.

60% reach B1, (thats the general level i expect for them to reach in a year)
15% reach B2 (the most talented and motivated students overcome the rest of the class)
25% will quit (due to no time, no motivation, financial reasons, or even because they are looking for another type of teacher/methodic more formal, there are so many factors that can make them quit)

So 75% will reach b1-b2 in a year , and 25% will quit.

The goal to make them reach c1 in a year its a DREAM, with the current technology and methodology is very difficult. I guess the only case it would be possible is a student who is living in the country of the target language and is dedicating full time to study the language.

About myself, in 3 years i could reach leven B2 of Russian just studying by myself, mostly Assimil, lingq for listening and reading, and Italki to speak.
The fact that i live in Russia i dont think it played a big role, since i live in a bubble of English and SPanish: i speak Spanish at work and at home. I barely use Russian language in Russia other than by skype to talk with my language partners.

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When i said they" speak fluent" after a year , i meant in the mark of b1, they can speak good about a wide range of topics fluently, even if they are not using complex things like imperfecto de subjuntivo, which is an estructure of a higher level.

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“I barely use Russian language in Russia other than by skype to talk with my language partners.”

Holy macro!

SOunds like a joke, but its truth. My life in Russia doesnt require me to speak Russian at all, i even wonder why i took the time to learn it. I guess mostly as a hobbie. I would have done it the same way and same pace if i would be in Spain.

My normal day is something like this:

I woke up on the morning, chat a bit with my wife in English and then and i go to work (on the metro i do lingq)

At work i speak only SPanish.

I usually eat at home, then i can do lingq or to talk with some language partners, for me is very confy because i have only little time and if i would have to go to meet them tto a cafe or something i wouldnt do it due to the lack of time.

At the afternoon i go back to work, again my classes go only in Spanish.

Then i eat dinner again and go to sleep.

In big citys everybody is busy with their own things, as you see i live in a bubble of work, and Spanish / English.

For me is more confy to talk 30 minuts by skype between classes, than to talking to people which i dont know on the streets.

I guess if i would be here alone , i´d spend more time meeting new people in Russia. But most of my time im busy with my work or spending the time with my wife.

Excuse me if this is too personal but your wife’s Russian, isn’t she? Haven’t you considered switching to Russian as your communication language now that you feel comfortable speaking it?

She can speak Spanish and i can speak Russian. But from the very begining we speak betwen us using English and we are so used to it. (already 4 years speaking English)

Its not good because we both make many grammar mistakes in English since we are not native speakers, however we can communicate anything with ease.

We tried to alternate speaking Russian one week and Spanish another week, but it feels so unnatural, even if we dont have problems communicating in Spanish or Russian we always end up switching to English, its like automatic for us and we are more confortable with it.

Eventually i found out would be easier to find people by skype and to speak with them in Russian from the very begining, after is hard to switch when u already speak always to a person in the same language. Most of my friends who are married to foreigners have the same problem, they keep speaking English because they are so use to it.

I see. Very interesting. Thank you for sharing

have you checked out Bill VanPatten? He’s a second language acquisition professor who understands the necessity of input. he has a podcast and he also created the “Destinos” series for Spanish learners

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