This is part 5 in a 6 part series. If you haven't, please go and read parts 1-4 first. They are on the first four principles of the Comprehension Hypothesis: Acquisition and Learning, the Natural Order Hypothesis, the monitor principle, the input hypothesis, and their role in social justice in the classroom.
The Affective Filter
Krashen (1983) really describes this well, "Performers with certain types of motivation, usually, but not always 'integrative' and with good self-images do better in second language acquisition" (Krashen, 1983, p. 38). Patrick (2019) goes on to say that without this principle, would create an environment with no link between the students and the teacher (Patrick, 2019).
This principle gets to the heart of every other principle. Without fully understanding the affective filter and the effect it has on our students, nothing else matters. Our affective filters are "made up of... motivation and lethargy, self-esteem and self-doubt, confidence and anxiety, calm and stress" (Patrick, 2019, p. 42). The lower the filter, the more open one is to receiving input and, thus, acquiring language (Krashen, 1983).
A lot of the argument against Comprehensible Input as an inherently more equitable set of principles than others does not take fully into account, particularly, how this principle affects all the other principles. Scattered throughout each of my posts are examples of how a whole and true understanding of the Comprehension Hypothesis requires an anti-racist, multicultural, and restorative approach to teaching and working with students. If you aren't applying this daily, hourly, moment by moment to your work, you are not providing comprehensible input and you are missing a major piece to understanding this work and its importance. Further, if you are, there is still and always will be work to do. I don't say this to call anyone a bad person or to say that anyone shouldn't do this work. I say this to say, "this IS the work." Full stop.
Tomorrow's post is on the last principle, the Compelling Input Hypothesis. It is, in my opinion, the second most important piece for CI, after this one. To quote my father (yes, the one who wrote one of the articles I keep referencing), "You have to love the kids more than the content". For the practical part of today, I want to give some reflective questions that I will, hopefully, provide some discussion of tomorrow. I'd love to see your thoughts on these questions.
Krashen, S. (1983). The Natural Approach: Language Acquisition in the Classroom. Alemany Press.
Patrick, R. (2019). Comprehensible Input and Krashen's theory. Journal of Classics Teaching, 20(39), 37-44. doi:10.1017/S2058631019000060