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Comprehensible input is the necessary but also sufficient condition for language acquisition to take place. For more on Krashen's related theory of the different natures of language acquistion and langauge learning, see: An introduction to the work of Stephen Krashen Folse concedes that some vocabulary can be acquired via comprehensible input, particularly when the FL (first language) and the SL come from the same language family (such as English and German) and thus have many cognates.
Folse relates an incident when he failed to choose the right Japanese word for an essay, despite assiduous use of a dictionary.
Folse discusses research which reveals the prevalent teacher notion that students should be discouraged from using a bilingual dictionary.
The theory of comprehensible input was promulgated by Krashen.
In summary, the theory posits that we acquire language in one way only: when we are exposed to input (written or spoken language) that is comprehensible to us.
In the discussion of phrasal verbs Folse notes that: "Native speakers have no idea that they are using phrasal verbs, nor do they see why these words are so hard for ESL students to deal with." For more about phrasal verbs, see: " The second question that Folse discusses is What does it mean to say you know a word?
While most non-linguists would answer that knowing a word entails knowing what it means, Folse points out that the implicit knowledge of a word possessed by literate native-speakers includes much more than just this.Folse starts this section with an overview of the reasons why many teachers try to avoid all use of L1 in the L2 classroom.He goes on to cite recent research that he summarizes as follows: Folse relates an incident where he failed to guess a word in context, despite applying the usual "word attack" strategies.The core of the book is a discussion of eight myths about learning and teaching vocabulary: The eight myths are: Folse notes that for many years until the mid 1990's researchers and teachers generally underestimated the importance of vocabulary in second language (SL) development.It was assumed that SL vocabulary would grow as naturally and easily as first language vocabulary, through exposure to comprehensible input.Folse writes of a lesson when he failed to understand a Japanese word, despite the patient explanations of his teacher.He was put out of his misery when another student in the class told him the meaning of the word in English.It's like having your own 24/7 virtual writing center.This webpage is a summary of the above-mentioned book by Keith Folse, currently Associate Professor of TESOL at the University of Central Florida.He uses the story to make the point that some of the old-fashioned methods of learning a second language, that have generally fallen into disrepute, could in fact help students to acquire strong vocabularies.Folse discusses several studies indicating that the fairly prevalent aversion among language teachers to having their students learn vocabulary lists is unfounded Folse writes that he has authored over 30 ESL textbooks, many of which have the explicit purpose of developing students' vocabulary.