After Krashen

John sent this:
I thought you’d either be horrified or entertained by the description of a panel at this year’s upcoming American Philological Association meeting. It is called “After Krashen.” What amazes me is that the working assumption seems to be that Latin teachers and textbook companies have already integrated and exhausted K’s findings, and now they are ready to move beyond it.
Bob Patrick will be there to ask the panelists 1) how many Latin or Greek textbooks they know of that cite Krashen as a primary influence on their approach, and 2) how many of the panelists themselves have actually implemented Krashen’s theories in their classrooms and therefore have the experience on which to base their criticisms. I’m sure we’ll get a full report.

Carin M. Green, University of Iowa, and Jacqueline Carlon, University of Massachusetts Boston, Organizers

This session examines the relevance of recent research in second language acquisition to the teaching of Latin and Greek. Since his startling conclusions were first published in 1981, Stephen Krashen’s work has dominated virtually all theoretically-based texts for teaching the classical languages, but thirty years of additional research offers new, sometimes contradictory insights. Questions considered include: How do students build the large vocabulary needed to read authentic texts? Is learning grammar really necessary? Do we have an advantage over modern languages in teaching multiple cultural literacies? Do Latin and Greek have an unexpected appeal to students who are culturally marginalized?
1.    Kenny Morrell, Rhodes College
“Lexical Bundles” and the Return of Formulae in Language Acquisition (15 mins.)
Sunday, January 8,    2012
2.    Jacqueline Carlon, University of Massachusetts Boston
Teaching Grammar: A Reasoned Proposal (15 mins.)
3.    John Gruber-Miller, Cornell College
Multiple Literacies: A New Paradigm for Teaching Latin, Greek, and Other World Languages (15 mins.)
4.    William Brockliss, Yale University
Harry Potter and the Language of Power: Muggles, Slaves, Pupils and the Empire of Latin (15 mins.)
Carin M. Green, University of Iowa Respondent (10 mins.)
My response: the image I get is that the members of this true mutual admiration society all have telescopes and each one is looking through the other end of the telescope, agreeing that what they see is indeed very important and my how smart they all are! Imagine their surprise if they flipped the telescope around! They’d see what Krashen is talking about. Unfortunately, it would also blow their lminds, seriously threatenh their jobs, and take away their current pleasant state of pedantry and local university levels of power. Tell Bob we’re all with him on this and want that report. The point to make is that if they don’t label Krashen as done and finished (if they only knew!), then they won’t be able to keep looking through the wrong end of the telescoope. It is possible that these dudes may belong to the group described below:
La terre se couvre d’une nouvelle race d’hommes à la fois instruits et analphabètes, maîtrisant les ordinateurs et ne comprenant plus rien aux âmes, oubliant même ce qu’un tel mot a pu jadis désigner/The earth is becoming populated by a new race of men who are both educated and illiterate , who have mastered computers and, understanding nothing about souls, have even forgotten what such a word may have once meant.
Christian Bobin (1951- )



1 thought on “After Krashen”

  1. After Krashen–what a concept?! Before I’d read any of his work I’d heard of his work through early childhood educators. His work on reading and language acquistion is probably the most logical I’ve ever seen.
    As I read over the panelists’ topics I was put off by the edu-ese. You are right, it seems to be an exclusive club of sorts. It reminds me of the topics chosen by archaeologists and ethnographers when they discourse on indigenious people to which they don’t really have much of a relationship with. They’ve only looked at the materials but not talked with the People. Or I’ve watched them ask questions of Elders and then dismiss the answers as uneducated or superstitious. It is sad to see.
    I am glad there will be those in the audience to call into question their proof.

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