The Path to Academic English with Dr. Stephen D. Krashen


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. In this self-study course with Dr. Stephen Krashen, you’ll explore aspects that lead to the development of academic language proficiency.

Session 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.

Session 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.

Session 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.

Session 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.

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This is not a live course. Your purchase includes includes access to four video recordings, readings, and discussion questions. Teachers can earn a Certificate of Completion verifying 20 Professional Development hours if desired. To receive a certificate teachers are required to submit written responses to the discussion questions

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About Stephen Krashen:

Stephen Krashen is a linguist, educational researcher, and activist. Dr. Krashen has published more than 350 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

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