Brick House 4

As Krashen says in Foreign Language Education – The Easy Way:
…the system of grammar, vocabulary, etc. that needs to be acquired is too complex to be learned consciously….(p. 7).
In other words, there are too many combinations of bricks for the mind to build the house of acquisition by using the medium of analysis and conscious organization of each word that occurs in speech. Reading the grammar and hearing the language spoken in meaningful and interesting ways allows the unconscious wiring to organize all that information.
This is called wholistic learning. We first hear and read the grammar and we get it without using the conscious mind, then when the unconscious has the bricks it needs, it builds the speech and the writing pieces. We do not label each brick in the house as per its grammatical category of relative pronouns or whatever. Doing that is vastly inefficient. Doing anything (technology games, activities, etc.) that is not directed at the unconscious minds of the students is vastly inefficient.



1 thought on “Brick House 4”

  1. I just got back from Guatemala (try to live in the language in some way before the beginning of each school year), where I met a very interesting Spaniard. Javier was looking for a place to sit in a very crowded breakfast/coffee spot, while I was sitting at a table for four trying to finish a summer graduate course in linguistics. I offered him a spot at my table and he asked about what I was working on. Since the course provided confirmation for the case for comprehensible input and quoted from Krashen’s work throughout the text, I gave Javier a summary of comprehensible input.
    Javier told me that he was taught English in the “very worst way”. He said he cannot speak English without mentally picturing columns to choose verbs and then must go through a mental translation process to decide what to say. For this reason he dislikes using English, because he can’t just “speak it in a natural way”. (This could be the testimonial of many second language learners.) In fact, our conversation was only in Spanish, because he is not comfortable with English despite having studied it for many years.
    He mentioned that he has a Basque heritage and described some of the complexities of the language, which is considered one of the most difficult. Javier says that it is said that the Basque language is so complex that it is too difficult to teach—it can only be acquired.

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