Didactics - 6 : Critique of Krashen II
The Natural Order Hypothesis
A : Recap:
We have seen that Krashen's first hypothesis - that there is a distinction between conscious learning, on the one hand, and unconscious acquisition on the other, and that the latter is far more effective in enabling people to use an L2 - can be criticized :
• 1. It oversimplifies the cognitive processes of learning, and draws too rigid a distinction between acquisition and learning:
• 2. It is based mainly on the observation of learners acquiring an L2 that is generally used in the surrounding environment - that is immigrants to the US learning English. In other situations one may expect classroom learning, of the conscious kind, to be important.
In looking at cognitive processing, we have considered the work of Anderson, who distinguishes three phases in the learning process
• 1. the Cognitive Stage - learner receives instruction, or watches an expert, or studies the question on his own.
• 2. The Associative Stage - two things occur :
o a) errors in the declarative statements are detected and eliminated.
o b) connections between the different elements of the skill are strengthened
• 3. The Autonomous Stage - skill becomes virtually automatic and errors disappear. The skill can now be executed without attention - driving a car and having a conversation at the same time. With a complex skill, this stage takes a long time to reach.
Gagné suggests that the rules that the learner uses are not necessarily the traditional rules of the grammar class, but are rules that he constructs for himself through observation, interaction, and the construction of hypotheses. This idea leads us on to consider Krashen's second hypothesis - the natural order hypothesis.
B : The Natural Order Hypothesis:
Krashen makes several claims about what he calls the...