Stephen Krashen’s (1982) Monitor is one of the models of second language acquisition influenced by Chomsky’s theory of first language acquisition (Lightbown & Spada, 2006). Faltis and Hudelson (1998) claim that though Krashen first introduced the Monitor Model in 1977 as a comprehensive theory to explain second language acquisition among adult ESL learners, Krashen, by the mid-1980s, explained and elaborated the theory so as to include children (Krashen, 1985). Krashen had five hypotheses to describe this theory:
a. The acquisition-learning hypothesis
b. The natural order hypothesis
c. The monitor hypothesis
d. The input hypothesis
e. The affective filter hypothesis
a. Acquisition-learning hypothesis: Krashen (1981, 1982, as cited by Richardo-Amato, 2003) distinguished between two different linguistic systems: acquisition and learning. Acquisition is a subconscious process through which children naturally develop language proficiency as they understand language and use it for meaningful communication. Learning is instead a process through which we ‘learn’, by paying conscious attention to forms and rules. Learning a language results in explicit knowledge on the forms and patterns of that language and is a result of formal teaching. However, learning does not lead to acquisition. “Acquired language knowledge is stored in a part of the brain reserved for language, and it serves as the major source of initiating and understanding speech (Faltis & Hudelson, 1998).” According to this hypothesis, children can talk about the language they learn, but it is not necessarily stored in language parts of the brain. Learned language is available only as a means to monitor their output. Since acquisition and learning are two separate entities or ways of developing language abilities, what is learned does not lead to become acquired knowledge, so Krashen focuses on the ways to facilitate language acquisition.
Faltis, C. J., & Hudelson, S. J. (1998). Bilingual education in elementary andsecondary school communities.Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Lightbown, P. M., & Spada, N. (2006). How languages are learned. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Richard-Amato, P. A. (2003). Making it happen: from interactive to participatory language teaching: theory and practice. New York, NY: Pearson Education.