Tony Gurr

Waiting for KRASHEN…still!

In Bilingualism, Conferences, ELT and ELL on 18/05/2011 at 2:33 pm

If I get one more bloody e-mail from my so-called “friends” telling me how wonderful Stephen Krashen’s drop-in keynote (in Istanbul last week) was, I’ll ……………

As many of you know, a few weeks ago I did a short post on the “Grand Master of Language Learning and told you all how I would move heaven and earth to be there.

“Work” happened to me – again! I “missed” it…


But, I have friends in “low-places” (with photocopy machines and PDF software) – and they sent me my crib-notes.

So, for those of you like me…here’s a few highlights.

Krashen did manage to highlight his “new theory” – read, be bi-lingual and drink coffee! While I am not quite sure if these recommendations will be as big as “hit” as his earlier work:

  • Natural Order Hypothesis
  • Acquisition/ Learning Hypothesis
  • Monitor Hypothesis
  • Input Hypothesis
  • Affective Filter Hypothesis

Now, if I had come up with just “one” of these…

…he clearly made an “impact” on lots of participants with the first of his “new ELL trinity” – everyone ran home all-geared up to begin new “reading” programmes with their students.



The coffee bit is “easy” – also MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Mmmm, not so sure about being “bi-lingual” – bit more difficult than making a cuppa-java! But at least all our non-native English teachers now recognise that they have something over their less-linguistically-endowed “native colleagues” – time to pay them more!


However, in looking over the notes I found a really interesting reference to the work of Ashley Hastings and HIS “7 Myths” (in an earlier version of this post I actually used “her” – see, this is what happens when you do NOT go to a conference. Ashley, was forgiving and humourous enough to point this out but he also sent me a full set of links to his FOCUS SKILLS page – take a look).

You know me and my love of “conspiracy theories” and “urban myths” but I’d come across some of these before (not in such a comprehensive manner) and wondered how many of them would have the same “impact” as Krashen’s recommendation that we all do more “silent reading” in class (isn’t that how most of us read anyways – how many people out-there actually use “reading aloud” as a classroom technique).

I wanted to list them for you all:

Myth #1: “The four basic language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) must be introduced and taught together.”

Myth #2: “Grammar and vocabulary must be explicitly taught.”

Myth #3: “Instruction must be based on structured textbooks.”

Myth #4: “Teacher talk should be kept to a minimum.”

Myth #5: Reading skills must be explicitly taught.”

Myth #6: “Students’ written errors must be marked, and students must correct them.”

Myth #7: “Students must be required to speak as much as possible.”


Now, I’m not sure if I would agree with all of them (esp. “Myth #7” – speaking is a great way to “co-create” and “learn” language, IMHO).

But, Ashley / Stephen – do you know what you are suggesting here?

No grammar teaching…No textbooks – OMG!


Love you both…when are you coming back?

Think I need another…

  1. A couple of “posts” people have sent me in reply to this one:

    Krashen video – comments on “Waiting for Sperman” (video link)

    Typical “critique” on Krashen’s views on “waiting to speak”


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