Academic journal article English Language Teaching

Utility of Krashen's Five Hypotheses in the Saudi Context of Foreign Language Acquisition/Learning

Academic journal article English Language Teaching

Utility of Krashen's Five Hypotheses in the Saudi Context of Foreign Language Acquisition/Learning

Article excerpt


In the last twenty years, the paradigm that has dominated the discipline of language teaching is the SLA theory and Krashen's five hypotheses which are still proving flexible to accommodate earlier reforms. This paper reviews second language acquisition (SLA) theory to establish an understanding of its role in the EFL/ESL classrooms. Other areas of SLA theory, particularly Krashen's five Hypotheses are being reviewed to provide a brief overview of SLA research in relation with Krashen's views. This paper, considering the importance of SLA theory, makes an attempt to find out how the shift in the language teaching techniques can be correlated and connected to the conceptual framework of the SLA theory.

Keywords: SLA theory, Krashen's five hypotheses, language acquisition and learning, EFL teaching methodologies

1. Introduction

Since the times of Socrates, educators and philosophers have advanced their arguments for a kind of teaching that does more than imparting knowledge and teaching skills. Though it has been accepted that the role of knowledge and skills is very crucial, but the true education and real teaching involves far more than this. Fundamentally, it aims at assisting learners utilize their knowledge and skills to understand, acknowledge, and struggle with significant ideas when they probe into them, and thus develop an in-depth understanding for a wide ranging and far-reaching issue and questions. Yet teaching focused on these significant targets is largely missing in Saudi classrooms. The basic reason for these missing ingredients and lagging behind is the non-implementation of SLA theories in the EFL/ESL classrooms. For the last thirty years, previous studies have been focusing on focused on solidifying knowledge about language, language teaching and learning. The integrated disciplines of Linguistics, Psychology, and Pedagogy provide teachers and learners a strong foundation on which to construct an effective theory and methodology of second language acquisition and learning. For this purpose, SLA theory has been brought to light and is believed to be the best model for teaching and learning a foreign/second language.

1.1 Objectives of the Study

The prime objective of the present study is "to highlight the significance of the SLA theories and Krashen's five hypotheses which are proving flexible to accommodate earlier reforms in the teaching techniques". The sole objective of the study is further divided into the following sub-objectives:

1) To understand the effectiveness of the Krashen's five hypotheses in the context of SLA theory.

2) To discuss the basic reasons which slow down the process of acquisition and/or learning due to non-implementation of SLA theory in the EFL/ESL classrooms.

1.2 Significance/Scope of the Study

The study may generate positive improvements in teaching and learning environment in the Saudi classrooms by having a proper implementation of the SLA theories/Krashen's five hypotheses. Above all, it may be a great help for teachers to know the effectiveness of these theories in reference with the EFL/ESL classrooms. Furthermore, Krashen's theory on second language acquisition (SLA) has been elaborated in simple language to communicate the meaning to the majority of teachers, and also, he used the examples from classroom state of affairs to outline the concepts. However, this theory must be adapted in varying multifaceted situations relevant to the students' acquisition and learning language scenarios accordingly. According to Krashen and other SLA specialists (Krashen & Terrell 1983; Littlewood, 1984; Ellis, 1985), students have two different ways of developing skills in a second language: learning and acquisition. Learning is a conscious process that focuses on the structure of the language. Contrary to it, acquisition is a process which represents the subconscious activity by which new language is internalized and this process emphasizes on the meaning rather than on the structure. …

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