Comprehensible Input


Stephen Krashen presented his Theory of Second Language Acquisition back in the 1980′s. His work has been very influential and stood the test of time. It's also heavily influenced our approach, the Semantica Method.

Dr. Krashen, in his very popular little book Foreign Language Education the Easy Way says:

“We acquire language in only one way, when we understand messages, that is when we obtain “comprehensible input.” ...More precisly, we acquire when we understand messages containing aspects of language that we are developmentally ready to acquire but have not yet acquired.”

Stephen Krashen calls this Comprehensible Input.

Let's let Stephen demonstrate this:

Krashen is saying that the efficient way to pick up new language is not by simply immersing yourself in it, but by interacting with highly contextual situations. A situation that's in-context is for example, noticing a man drowning yell "help, I'm drowning" as opposed to listening to someone tell you about the dangers of swimming in that lake over there without having taken swimming lessons first. Imagine both of these situations In Portuguese and you'll immediately get the point.

His point is, that the language student will Learn faster with comprehensible situations.

And, we could not agree more.

In all of our videos, we provide clues to the context. We never just start throwing dialog at the student. Sometimes it's direct and obvious, sometimes it's through social clues and situational. We think that stories are a great way to provide context. Even better: connected stories.  When a story brings you into some world, it broadens the chances for context. The problem with simply watching Brazilian movies and TV is that they move too fast. That's why we've produced our learning series. It's slowed-down and full of context.

Semantica Portuguese intends to continue along this path.