FORGETTING HYPOTHESIS VS GRAMMAR INPUT IN PRE-SERVICE TEACHER TRAINING
Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Conference name: 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 17-19 November, 2014
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract: During the experiment with 65 pre- service students at the Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria over a 3 year period we have found out that 97% of the trainees were frustrated with the grammar teaching they have experienced in primary, secondary and terciary education. We have conducted a series of lessons in an unknown language using different methodologies and approaches to prove that the learning process should happen in a natural way, in a flow, and that to reflect upon a teaching/learning process arises a more meaningful insight into the trainees´s own future teaching . We have asked them to write about their experience after the lessons and to compare it to their previous language learning, as well as to answer some open and closed questions. The results have confirmed that the aim of any lesson , in our case foreign language teaching/learning process, should be to provide appealing and relevant context and input above all. The lesson content ought to be so interesting that the students should forget the fact that they are learning. This “forgetting hypothesis” is defended by Stephen Krashen as an outcome of engaging and compelling messages, it is the moment when student forget that they are studying in another language. The Forgetting Hypothesis is influenced by the concept of “flow“ coined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Flow is a state people reach when they are deeply but without any effort involved in a task. In flow, the daily worries and even the sense of self vanish - our connotation of time is changed and nothing but the activity itself seems to be important. It is challenging or almost impossible to reach the flow if we insist on teaching grammar. We do not intend to belittle the relevance of grammar, but we do confirm that the grammatical competence will develop as a consequence of forgetting hypothesis. Instead of grammar being the main target of lessons it should be regarded as one of the outcomes of comprehensible input.
Keywords: Grammar, forgetting hypothesis, flow, teaching and learning process.