The Affective Filter and Pronunciation Proficiency — Attitudes and Variables in Second Language Acquisition

  • Robert M. Hammond


In developing his theory of second language acquisition, Krashen (1982) suggests five hypotheses: the acquisition-learning hypothesis; the natural order hypothesis; the input hypothesis; and the affective filter hypothesis. The first three of these hypotheses are central to the organization of a language program using the natural approach (Krashen and Terrell 1983); that is, they form the underlying bases for a program whose purpose it is to develop in beginning students as much communicative competency as possible in a beginning language course or series of courses. The latter two, the input and affective filter hypotheses, however, determine on a day-to-day basis what actually takes place in the second language classroom. In very general terms, the input hypothesis states that we must provide as much comprehensible input as possible for a student in the second language classroom, since within Krashen’s theoretical framework, it is claimed that it is through and only through comprehensible input becoming comprehended input that language is acquired (not learned). The notion of the affective filter, originally presented in Dulay and Burt (1977), which is much less controversial, and valid for almost all language teaching methodologies, states that the affective variables of motivation, self-confidence and anxiety (Krashen 1982) have a profound influence on language acquisition (not learning). The claim of the natural approach is that students will acquire second languages best when they are in an environment which provides a maximally low (weak) affective filter, and a maximally high amount of comprehensible input.


Instructor Evaluation Language Acquisition Affective Variable United States Bureau Language Classroom 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert M. Hammond
    • 1
  1. 1.Catholic University of AmericaUSA

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