I have to throw out some props for the people whose work I believe makes the theoretical field of SLA something we can use to make ourselves better teachers and learners.
Obviously I’m a Krashenite. Not all the way. I couldn’t care less what he has to say about bird languages or what the aliens will speak when they get here, but that’s California for you (j/k). The acquisition/learning difference, i+1, the affective filter, the monitor, they all just make so much sense. And the power of reading–it’s such a part of the power of storytelling.
I love, love, love Michael Long and Cathy Doughty and wish I could live another life at the University of Maryland sitting at their feet and learning from their insanely practical research. Especially on noticing.
Blaine Ray and TPRS. Wow. It’s my inspiration. There are flaws and I’m trying to work through them, and Blaine wouldn’t call me a TPRS teacher, but a lot of what I do is based in TPRS. I sat through a 20-minute demonstration by a woman just starting in TPRS, in Swedish, a year ago, and I can re-tell you the story she told, and I know what it means, and I walked into that workshop not speaking a word of Swedish. I don’t think TPRS is motivating enough and I think it moves too fast (anyone in SLA will tell you there are so many problems with anything called “Fluency Fast”), but he’s really on to something and I attend every workshop I can. I’m going to the Kentucky World Language Association workshop this month and I can’t wait.
So thanks especially to Drs. Krashen, Long, & Doughty, and Blaine Ray for their work in putting SLA into something teachers can use.