My study at Multilingual Education program requires reading and analyzing a number of publications from various authors with their own unique personality, writing style, and viewpoint. Fortunately, I have already been familiarized with famous researchers in the sphere of language acquisition and bi/multilingualism before being enrolled at NUGSE. Those authors whose works I am mostly interested in empower me to shape my vision on the concepts and notions coming across throughout the courses. However, each scientific area has its own ‘rock star’, and when it comes to second language acquisition and bilingual education I would mention Stephen Krashen.
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In my humble opinion, Stephen Krashen is one of the remarkable figures in the contemporary linguistics on par with Noam Chomsky. His academic focus is related to language acquisition process in terms of teaching and acquisition (learning). It is worth mentioning that Krashen developed a plenty of hypotheses such as affective filter hypothesis, monitor hypothesis and input hypothesis. These ideas can fundamentally change the understanding of how learning differs from acquisition. Moreover, there are a plenty of teaching approaches based on Krashen’s theories which serve as a tool to ensure effortless and efficient language acquisition.
At the current time, the theories and hypotheses developed by Krashen are crucially relevant to my thesis writing. Particularly, affective filter hypothesis, which considers a language anxiety as one of the factors debilitating the language acquisition process, is important to study in my case. Understanding of the theoretical basis of the role of anxiety in EFL classroom might possibly help me to construct workable suggestions to lessen this destructive sort of emotional state. However, academic focus of this author is relevant not only to my thesis but also to the content of Multilingual Education program.
At last, Stephen Krashen promotes and advocates a bilingual education despite the criticism addressed by some of so-called colleagues regarding his ‘real intentions’. Anyway, he accentuates the importance of each language in the linguistic repertoire of a speaker stating: “without a serious, dedicated and organized campaign to explain and defend bilingual education at the national level, in a very short time we will have nothing left to defend” (San Miguel, 2004, p. 82). In other words, Krashen is one of those scholars who make deliberate efforts towards raising an importance of maintaining and supporting minority languages.
San Miguel, G. (2004). Contested policy: The rise and fall of federal bilingual education in the United States, 1960-2001 (Vol. 1). University of North Texas Press.