Sunday, October 6, 2013


I m going to prepare three activities based on some principles of Stephen Krashen. There are, of course, so much information about language acquisition and so much work related with Krashen’s principles. I tried to pick his ideas which are the most convenient for demonstration by Web 2.0 tools.

         The compelling input hypothesis: People acquire language by understanding message. It is the basic point of  Krashen’s   principles. However , input should have some characteristics to be used effectively . First, Input must be comprehensible to create positive effect on language acquisition, but at the same time it should be interesting and compelling. In other words, if we want to use a material, this material should be so interesting that students forget that they are studying another language. To apply this principle to the language classroom, we can focus on compelling reading and listening or compelling movies which easily draw attention of student’s interests. Dr. Krashen’s advice is to provide free reading, light and narrow reading, series reading to the students. “ ….the best methods are …that supply ‘comprehensible input’ in low anxiety situations, containing messages that students really want to hear….”( Krashen, 1981, p.6) Moreover students should be introduced “a little more EnglishUsage to what the students already have to create warm and receptive classroom. Krashen’s   formulation for this is i+1.
         The acquisition/learning hypothesis: According to Krashen, we develop competence in  a language in two distinctive ways. The first one is language acquisition. It refers to learning a language unconsciously. In other words in acquisition, “we acquire language by using it for real communication”. The second way is language learning. It is related with conscious level such as awareness of grammatical rules. For Krashen “language acquisition doesn’t require extensive use of conscious grammatical rules, doesn’t require tedious drill. …Real language acquisition develops slowly…..”( Krashen, 1981, p.7)Krashen believe that grammar teaching can be used for advanced learners to fill their gaps. Otherwise it is  not  very effective to develop a language competence.
         The affective filter hypothesis: According to Krashen some emotional factors such as self confidence, motivation and anxiety may block or facilitate language acquisition. Learners with a low Affective filter benefite more from provided input. On the contrary, if the filter is high, students cannot benefit from input which is crucial in developing language competence.
Here is the activities that I prepared by focusing on the hypothesis above!

According to the acquisition-learning hypothesis, we should balance our course time between acquisition activities and learning activities since students can only focus on one thing at a time. In input classes, students should be introduced comprehensible, interesting and compelling input. In grammar classes, a grammar point is presented inductively or deductively depending the age and the learning styles. The role of the grammar classes should be supporting to comprehension. So my activity will be focus on acquisition activity. I assume that I explained necessary grammar points in my last grammar class to improve my students’ comprehension. Today I want to do a reading activity. My reading material will be prepared based on i+1. Moreover, it should be so interesting and compelling . To do so;

1-I am going to select a reading material which should be appreciated by my students.(a serious of stories and outside reading)
2- I am going to analyze the reading material by using Lextutor and readability tests. 
I am doing this to see whether the material’s level is suitable or not.( it should be a little beyond their level of competence)
3-I can create a video by using Animoto or Stupflix
4-low anxiety environment should be achieved. ( low affective filter)by using online discussions instead of classroom discussion for now, but when students are ready face to face discussions may be arranged.
5- I am going to prepare comprehension questions..( they are still in silent period and I am not forcing them to produce speech! They only should respond to my commands for now!
7-I am going to use a site Storybird students to create their own collaborative story! Because I believe that they can create the best by engaging to creation process. It is also good for creative writing.
*****Afel’s Stories: According to Krashen reading aloud and narrow reading are useful in terms of comprehensible reading. So I selected a series of same person’s stories. I started with Afel’s stories  “ the Skier”.At the same time reading material should be selected depending on  i+1 , I analyzed it . I used lextutor and readability …..Here is the results.

Freq. Level         (# Families)
BNL-0 Words : (93)
BNL-1 Words : (666)
BNL-2 Words : (504)
BNL-3 Words : (440)
BNL-4 Words : (431)
BNL-5 Words : (392)
BNL-6 Words : (186)

Total : (2709)

My students’ level is  pre- intermediate According to Krashen, reading material can be a little beyond students’ current level.So BNL 3 list is still Suitable for students.%94

Number of characters (withoutspaces) :
Numberof words :
Number of sentences :
Average number of characters per word :
Average number of syllables per word :
Average number of words per sentence:

Indication of the number of years of formal education that a person requires in order to easily understand the text on the first reading

Gunning Fog index :

Approximate representation of the U.S. grade level needed to comprehend the text :

Coleman Liau index :
Flesch Kincaid Grade level :

ARI (Automated Readability Index) :


Flesch Reading Ease :

So it is suitable for my students. I believe that they will enjoy the story!

First stage: I am going to show them a video by using STUPFLIX. I thinks they will enjoy watching it! By doing this I have two aims. The first one is to draw their attention to the lesson. The second one is to activate their mind to achieve optimal comprehension
The video is posted in my blog.
Second stage: Reading  aloud is recommended by Krashen. I am going to read it to the students. During the first reading, they are only going to listen. Here is the story!

             The skier
Afel was only a very small boy when he first saw snow. But it wasn’t real snow that he saw. No, there was no real snow where he lived. He saw the snow in a picture book. The book had lots of pictures of children playing in big white fields. He asked his mother,
“What are those white fields?” and his mother laughed and said
“That’s snow!” She tried to explain to him what snow was, but Afel didn’t really understand. Sometimes there was rain where he lived, but not very much, so it was very difficult for him to understand what this cold, ice rain that his mother described was. It didn’t matter. Even when he was only a very small boy, Afel was already in love with snow.
He dreamed about snow all the time, trying to imagine how it really was. He thought of big white fields. He thought of the big, heavy clothes the children playing in the snow wore. He thought about feeling cold. He dreamed of being able to fly across the white fields of snow.
Then, when Afel was twelve years old, the next thing happened. One day he was watching the tv at his uncle’s house. His uncle had a big new tv, with all the satellite channels. Afel was watching one of the satellite channels, and a programme came on, and the programme was full of snow. Lots and lots of it. And not only snow – there were people flying across the snow. They looked like strange animals, like fantastic birds. They had hats which covered all their heads and big goggles over their eyes. They wore brightly-coloured clothes. And on their feet, they had things that looked like strange shoes.
“What are those?” he asked his uncle excitedly.
“Skis,” replied his uncle, “And those people are called skiers.” Afel was in love. Here was the snow, and here were people who were flying across the snow. It was just like one of his dreams. It was perfect. At that moment, he decided. He wanted to be a skier.
He asked his uncle what the programme was.
“The Winter Olympics,” said his uncle. “It’s like the normal Olympics, but for sports where you need snow –skiing, ice skating, bobsleigh, those sorts of things. They have it every four years.”
Afel found out that the next Winter Olympics was in Vancouver in Canada, in 2010.
“Perfect,” he thought. “Enough time for me to become a brilliant skier. Then I’ll go to the Winter Olympics, and win the gold medal for skiing.”
“But there’s no snow here!” people told him. “Where are you going to ski?”

Afel didn’t care. He made himself a pair of skis from two pieces of wood. He tied them to his feet and practised skiing holding two sticks in his hands. At first he couldn’t move, but he practised and practised and practised until he could move quite quickly across the sand or the earth where he lived. He tried to fly down the hills like the people on tv, but he couldn’t. He could only move slowly.
“Never mind,” he thought. “It’s a start...”
“How will you go to the Olympics?” people asked him. “Our country doesn’t even have a team that goes to the Winter Olympics. Why don’t you do up athletics instead? You don’t need lots of expensive equipment to practice. Our country is very good at athletics. We have lots of runners. And every time we win lots of medals at the Olympics. But no skiing, no.”
Afel didn’t care. He found that Jamaica had sent a bobsleigh team to the Olympics a few years ago.
“If Jamaica have a bobsleigh team,” he thought, “then our country can have a skier.”
So every night, out in the middle of the desert, Afel now practises skiing down sand dunes. He dreams that the yellow sand and brown earth of the desert is the white white snow of the mountains he saw on the television. He dreams that the yellow sand and brown earth are as gold as the medal he will bring home with him, when he is the world champion.

*****I am going to distribute a series of pictures. I want students put them in order, depending on the sequence of events in the story, during or after the reading, I read again. My purpose is to check their comprehension without fostering a high affective filter (My students are in “silent period”, so I don’t demand for production speech. That is why I use pictures to check their comprehension. The Affective Filter Hypothesis)
The pictures are here!

Third stage: I prepared some questions by using

Select the best definition for the word 'Afel':     ((MULTIPLE-CHOICE QUESTION ACTIVITY)

a) cold
b) electricity
c) the name of the main character
d) snow

Select the best definition for the word 'goggles':
a) eye drop
b) sun glasses
c) lense
d) pair of protective eyeglasses

Select the best definition for the word 'skier':J
a) driver
b) one who glides across snow
c) doctor
d) cook
 And on their feet, they had things that looked like strange shoes.
They had hats which covered all their heads and big goggles over their eyes.
Lots and lots of it.
Afel was watching one of the satellite channels, and a programme came on, and the programme was full of snow.
 when Afel was twelve years old the next thing happened.
His uncle had a big new tv, with all the satellite channels.
And not only snow – there were people flying across the snow.
 One day he was watching the tv at his uncle’s house.
 They wore brightly-coloured clothes.
 They looked like strange animals, like fantastic birds.

Forth Stage: I set a discussion on my BLOG I believe that it will give to my students an opportunity to reflect on the topic and share their ideas without anxiety. (Krashen emphasizes that anxiety lower comprehension, so we need to create activities that students can be involved in comfortably)
Fifth stage :I created a TRICIDER activity and announced on my blog. According to Krashen, students should read what they like, so I give them freedom to choose the part of a series of story.(Actually they decided the series  before)What is more is that I gave them the opportunity to create their own collaborative story!! I used STORYBIRD to do that. I created a teacher account then created a class and student list. I send them their assignment topic. Take a look! You can use Nart  as a user name and again Nart for password.

Stephen Krashen is still alive, I had no chance to ask him which of Web2.0 tools he would use for his EFL classroom, but I believe that what I used is useful to demonstrate his hypothesis or ideas..
To conclude;
1-I used lextutor
2-I used readability calculator
3-I create a video by using Stupeflix
4-I create a series of questions by using Teachers Pet
5-I used my Blog to set a discussion on the topic
6-I used Tricider  for brainstorming
7-I used Storybird for creating collaborative story
So Hocam, I used 7 of  web2.0 tools J

No comments:

Post a Comment