Academic journal article Studies in Literature and Language

The Influence of Krashen's Input Hypothesis on Teaching College English Listening in China

Academic journal article Studies in Literature and Language

The Influence of Krashen's Input Hypothesis on Teaching College English Listening in China

Article excerpt

Abstract

Listening is the main task in college English language teaching. Listening comprehension of English is also a big obstacle for English majors. Most college students consider listening comprehension to be the most difficult aspect and the weakest part in students' English studying. Therefore, how to improve a college student's listening comprehensive ability becomes a hot topic among English teachers. This paper explains Krashen's Input Hypothesis, analyzes the current situation of listening courses in college in China, and the influence of Krashen's Input Hypothesis on college English listening. Thus, the English teachers can arouse the student's interest in learning English and improve their listening ability.

Key words: Krashen's Input Hypothesis; College English listening; Influence

INTRODUCTION

The importance of foreign language teaching has already been widely recognized. However, English learning for most Chinese students is always time consuming and fruitless. Facing the urgent need to improve the situation, Chinese researchers have carried out many theoretical and empirical studies with a shared purpose of finding a more effective way to promote the acquisition of a second language. Krashen's Input Hypothesis, with its wide influence in the western language research field, impresses Chinese researchers as convincing, systematic, and having practical value for Chinese foreign language teaching.

This paper includes three parts. First, it explains Krashen's Input Hypothesis. Then, it analyzes the current situation of listening courses in college in China. The most significant part is the influence of Krashen's Input Hypothesis in college English listening. Thus, the English teachers can use the influence to improve their students' listening ability.

1. THE KRASHEN'S INPUT HYPOTHESIS

With the development of research in second language acquisition, some new theories and hypotheses have been put forward and examined by linguistics and language teaching professionals. Among them, the Comprehensive Input Hypothesis is the central part of this overall system. It pertains to the relationship between what the learner exposed to of a language (i.e. input) and language acquisition.

1.1 The Theory of Krashen's Input Hypothesis

First, the comprehensive input hypothesis claims that the acquirer should understand input language that contains structure a bit beyond his or her current level of competence. Krashen defined the learner's current stage of studying language as "i". The next stage of developing language is "i+1". In other words, the language which learners are exposed to should be just beyond their current competence. They can understand most of it, but still be challenged to make progress.

Second, people are able to understand language containing unlearned grammar structures through context, which includes extra-linguistic information and previously acquired linguistic competence.

Third, a significant part of the Input Hypothesis is Krashen's recommendation that speaking should not be taught directly or very soon in the classroom. Learners will produce once the acquirer has obtained enough comprehensible input.

Fourth, Krashen assumed a Language Acquisition Device (LAD), that is, an innate mental structure capable of handling both first and second language acquisition. Input activates this innate structure.

1.2 The Characteristics of Krashen's Input Hypothesis

First, the comprehension. The necessary condition of language acquisition is to understand the code of language input. Incomprehensive input has no use to learners. It is just waste of time.

Second, interest and relevance. That is, the input material is interesting and relevant to each other. Thus, learners can grasp language more easily.

Third, ungrammatical sequence. The key to learning a language is having enough comprehensive input. Teaching language on the basis of grammatical structure is wrong. …

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