Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Given rich interesting input, I+1 is present

If we supply a great deal of rich & interesting comprehensible input, i+1 is automatically present.  

Teaching in the Zone (August 2017).
Published in Language Magazine, October, 2017.
Sara Davila defines "i+1" as a task just above the acquirer's current level of understanding, introduced "to provide a challenge."  
I defined "i+1" in terms of the natural order of acqiuisiton: i+1 is the next structure(s) the acquirer is ready to acquire.
In my original statements and in a more recent paper,  I presented evidence for the hypothesis that we need not, and should not, aim at i+1.  If we supply a great deal of rich and interesting comprehensible input, i+1 is automatically present.  We don't have to "target just the right spot" for optimal acquisition.  Please see Krashen, S. 2013 The Case for Non-Targeted, Comprehensible Input. Journal of Bilingual Education Research & Instruction 15(1): 102-110, available (Free download) at:http://www.sdkrashen.com/articles.php?cat=6 (scroll down).  
For a more recent view of "targeting,"  and when it might be useful, please see: http://skrashen.blogspot.com/2016/11/three-options-non-targeted-input-and.html.

Stephen Krashen

Saturday, October 21, 2017

New Gates Initiative Overlooks Poverty

Published in Education Week, November 1, 2017

Bill Gates still doesn't get it. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will invest $1.7 billion in new curricula development and research and development of innovative education initiatives, among other improvements, over the next five years ("Bill Gates Announces $1.7 Billion in New K-12 Investments"). But the main problem in American education is not poor curricula or lack of data. The problem is poverty. When researchers control for the effect of poverty, U.S. schools' international test scores are some of the highest among schools worldwide. Our overall scores are unspectacular because our rate of child poverty is the highest among economically advanced countries. Poverty means food deprivation, lack of health care, and limited access to books, all of which have a devastating effect on school performance. Martin Luther King Jr. was right when he said: "We are likely to find that the problems of housing and education, instead of preceding the elimination of poverty, will themselves be affected if poverty is first abolished." While schools and teachers can always improve, they are not to blame for poverty's effects. The best teaching in the world will not help if students are hungry, ill, and have little or nothing to read.

Stephen Krashen