The Comprehension Hypothesis Extended

by Stephen Krashen

This presentation briefly reviews some of the evidence for the “comprehension hypothesis,” which states that we acquire language and develop literacy when we understand what we hear and read. A related hypothesis will also be explored: the “pleasure hypothesis.” Activities that are good for language acquisition are perceived to be pleasant, and in turn examine the research supporting an even more exciting version of this hypothesis: the “ecstasy hypothesis.” Finally, we will consider whether the “comprehension hypothesis” applies to non-human language acquisition.

Stephen Krashen is best known for developing the first comprehensive theory of second language acquisition, introducing the concept of sheltered subject matter teaching and is the co-inventor of the Natural Approach. Krashen has contributed to theory and application in the areas of bilingual education and reading; he has written numerous books, including publications on public issues related to education and reading.

Complete lecture in Audio | Download

tns.wzhaspgm.170x170-75The Department of Linguistics offers a series of lectures about the study of language and linguistics, in which a variety of internationally known scholars are invited to participate. These talks, which are open to the entire university community, feature in-depth discussion and state of the art analysis of various topics in linguistics – including phonology, phonetics, morphology, syntax, semantics, psycholinguistics, language endangerment and revitalization, language acquisiion, and more. Presentation slides and handouts provided by speakers who’ve chosen to make them available can be found here.


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