Monitor Hypothesis (Stephen Krashen)

Johnson, Elizabeth R.

Monitor Hypothesis was formulated by Stephen Krashen. The Monitor model focuses on grammatical rules and has a "monitor" for the student who is a second language learner. The "monitor" oversees the student's verbal communication and corrects any miscommunication or the "monitor" can check for student accuracy. The "monitor" may not be necessary when the student is focused on rapid communication and not concerned with accuracy.
In a school setting, Krashen believes that language acquisition can be best learned naturally through a "language-enriched environment" (Diaz-Rico & Weed, 2010). Krashen's Monitor Hypothesis should be limited in a second language learners and used when correcting errors from "normal" communication to make it sound more natural (Schutz, 2005).

Díaz-Rico, L. T. & Weed, K. Z. (2010). The Cross-Cultural, Language, and Academic Development Handbook, Fourth Edition. Boston, MA: Allyn&Bacon, Pearson.

Schutz, R. (2005). Stephen Krashen's theory of second language acquisition's . Retrieved from's%20Theory.

Critique/Classroom Implications
Lindauer, Breck J.

Krashen's monitor hypothesis has been criticized because of the assumption that young children are better language learners than adolescents because they are less affected by linguistic monitors (Diza-Rico & Weed, 2010). This claim is widely disputed by many, including McLaughlin (1992), who say that children and adolescents are equally capable of second language acquisition.

Within the classroom, teachers are obligated to create learning environments in which their students are not overburdened with anxiety in their language studies. Once that foundation is in place, monitors should "steer a middle course" in terms of correcting ELL's language (Freeman & Freeman, 2004). In other words, teachers need to encourage students that any speech produced is a positive thing, yet teachers should not hesitate to correct students' errors in the interest of continuity and clarity of speech; in other words, to maintain a normal stream of communication.

Díaz-Rico, L. T. & Weed, K. Z. (2010). The Cross-Cultural, Language, and Academic Development Handbook, Fourth Edition.

Freeman, D. E. & Freeman, Y. S. (2004). Essential Linguistics. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

McLaughlin, B. (1992). Myths and Misconceptions about Second Language Learning: What Every Teacher Needs to Unlearn. Educational Practice Report 5: National Center for Research on Cultural Diversity and Second Language Learning.