Monitor/Editor Model – Foreign Language Teaching

May 18th, 20117:25 am


Monitor/Editor Model – Foreign Language Teaching

Monitor/Editor Model – Foreign Language Teaching

Stephen Krashen formulated the monitor model hypothesis and assembled most of the theory and assembled most of the theory and research to support its basic tenets (principles). The monitor model is not an outline for classroom teaching, rather it’s a theoretical inner-directed model with 5 hypotheses formulated to explain how inter-medials develop second language skills.


1) The first hypothesis is the acquisition / learning hypothesis. The hypothesis is that individuals may acquire a second language or they may learn it. Those, who acquire second language pick up the rules of the language subconsciously as they participate in communication situations. Normally one associates this type of learning with children, learning their native language and with second language learners in out-of-class situations. The innovative aspects of his hypothesis are the claims that with the right type of training adults can acquire a second language in academic setting and that the acquired system concerns to initiate all language utterances.


Those who learn a second language learn the rules of the language consciously as they study them and listen to their teachers explain the grammar rules, practise them in cognitive exercises and listen to the teacher’s corrections of their errors. The result is that most students and teachers focus their attention on language learning. That is of the conscious knowledge of the language rules rather than on acquisition.


The second problem is that students can not learn to communicate because the communicative language skills can only be acquired, they can not be learned.


2) The seconds hypothesis is the natural order hypothesis. Krashen hypothesizes that both first language learners and children and adults second language learners acquire grammatical structure in a predictable order. This does not mean that all learners acquire language in the same order at the same time. But the similarities exist among learners and they will learn some structures early and some late.


3) The third is the monitor hypothesis in which Krashen deals with the function of knowledge. He maintains that function/conscious knowledge has only limited use in normal speaking because it concerns a learner as a monitor or editor. In his theory knowing the rule can not serve as a system to generate utterances in the language. It concerned only to string beforehand what the speaker wants to say or edit afterwards what he/she said. Thus individuals can use their monitors to increase their competence but they can not use it in performance itself.


Also individuals can activate the monitor only if they have sufficient time to use the conscious knowledge of the rules a situation that does not normally exist in conversational exchange.
Krashen divides monitor users into three types:
1) over-users
2) optimal-users
3) under-users


Over-users implied their fluency by attempting to use their monitors all the time to produce only speech that is grammatically correct. Optimal users activate their monitors only when they can without interfering with communication. Under-users do not use the monitor enough to progress what direct language is.


4) The forth hypothesis is the intake hypothesis, which deals with how individuals internalize language. His response is that individuals acquire language by understanding it, that is slightly about their development. The hypothesis has two important implications for developing second language skills.


– the only two skills through which the language is received are receptive skills (listening and reading).
– the productive skills of speaking and writing emerge as a result of individual’s having internalized while listening to and reading language that contains new vocabulary and grammar instructions, teachers can not teach speaking and writing directly.


5) the fifth hypothesis is the affective filter hypothesis. Krashen theorizes that in unfavorable circumstances individuals develop negative attitudes that result in an affective filter (or mental block) that prevents them from using the input to internalize language (input – what is said to students, intake – what they understand, output – what students say).


The optimal solution is one with individuals, who are highly motivated and who have positive self-concepts studying in classes in which the anxiety levels are lost. Krashen feels that attitude is more highly correlated with second language learning and the attitude is more important factor than aptitude in second language acquisition (acquisition – performance – attitude; learning – competence – aptitude).

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