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The recordings of all four sessions in this iTDi course are now available for self-study - free!

Books by Stephen Krashen
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iTDi Advanced Course

THE path to academic English with Stephen Krashen

Academic language proficiency consists of vocabulary, grammar, and a discourse style of academic, or professional language. Traditional teaching approaches include describing the language, preparing materials and explicitly teaching academic language. This has never worked. Whether you are teaching university students or just hoping to improve your own academic language proficiency, join Stephen Krashen in these four recorded sessions from his iTDi Advanced Teaching Skills course to find out what does work.

By special agreement with Dr. Krashen, we are delighted to be able to offer all four of his course recordings at no charge. Links to the recordings can be found below, with each week's content description.

While the recordings of the lessons are freely available, we do have costs in running the service. Please consider donating. Donations also allow us to give free access to deserving teachers around the world to our live courses. Thank you.

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Questions? Contact support@itdi.pro

Course outline:

To be proficient in using academic language, we have to 1) know the vocabulary, grammar and discourse style of academic language and 2) know the language of our specific subject matter. Proficient language users also employ a range of strategies that help them acquire academic language and subject-matter learning.

With Stephen, you'll expore aspects that lead to the development of academic language proficiency.

Week One: Comprehensible input and compelling comprehensible input.
A substantial amount of research published over the last three decades has shown that we acquire language when we understand messages. To make sure language acquirers pay attention to the message, it must be interesting. Optimal input is more than interesting, it is COMPELLING, so interesting that the acquirer may not even be aware that it is in another language.

Link to the recording of Week 1


Week Two: The path to academic English.
There is only one path to the development of academic English. It is not through formal study, it is not through "English for academic purposes." The path is pleasant and is in three stages: Hearing stories, self-selected reading for pleasure, and academic reading in an area that the acquirer is genuinely interested in. In stages two and three, the reading is self-selected and often narrow. In all three stages, input is compelling.

Link to the recording of Week 2


Week Three: Access to reading material and the importance of libraries.
More access to reading material results in more reading; more reading results in more literacy development. Consistent with this view, studies consistently show that better libraries are associated with better literacy development.

Link to the recording of Week 3


Week Four: From the US Common Core to "Test the world," or "Take from the needy and give to the greedy."
Testing fever is based on the assumption that improvement of education will lead to improved standards of living, and that the kind of education that works requires "grim determination" and hard study. Neither of these assumptions is true for language and literacy development, as shown in previous presentations and readings. The only real cure is the elimination of poverty. In the short run, we need to protect children from the effects of poverty.Instead, billions will be spent,world-wide, on useless testing, far more than is necessary.

Link to the recording of Week 4


Background reading: This course assumes some knowledge of Stephen Krashen's previous work and ideas.

Krashen, S. 2013. Second Language Acquisition: Theory, Applications, and Some Conjectures. Cambridge University Press.

Krashen, S. 2012. A short paper proposing that we need to write shorter papers. Language and Language Teaching (Azim Premji University). 1(2): 38-39.

Krashen, S. 2012. Academic jibberish. RELC Journal. 43 (2): 283-285. (sdkrashen.com, "other").


Stephen Krashen

Stephen Krashen is a linguist, educational researcher, and activist. Dr. Krashen has published nearly 500 papers and books, contributing to the fields of second-language acquisition, bilingual education, and reading. He is credited with introducing various influential concepts and terms in the study of second-language acquisition, including the acquisition-learning hypothesis, the input hypothesis, the monitor hypothesis, the affective filter, and the natural order hypothesis. Most recently, Krashen promotes the use of free voluntary reading during second-language acquisition, which he says "is the most powerful tool we have in language education, first and second." Dr. Krashen is currently professor emeritus at University of Southern California.