Immersion models of language adquisition can be seen as an unrealistic approach to the teaching of English in the primary classroom for different reasons.
First, it is very clear that the outsideworld can supply more input. Living in the country where the language is spoken can result in an all-day second language lesson but this is not the situation in our country.
We often hear that youhave to "live in the country" in order to achieve any real proficiency in a second language, and that the informal real world environment is always superior to the classroom, or formal environment.There are several studies that appear to support this assertion. Other studies, however, suggested that the classroom does help after all.
Stephen D Krashen attempted to resolve this apparentconflict by hypothesizing that what is really at issue is comprehensible input. The classroom is of benefit when it is the major source of comprehensible input. When acquirers do not have rich sources ofinput outside the class or when they are not proficient enough to take advantage of it, it is quite possible that we can actually do better than the informal environment, at least up to theintermediate level.
Second, the range of discourse that the student can be exposed to in a second language classroom is quite limited, no matter how "natural" we make it. There is simply no way the classroomcan match the variety of the outside world, although we can certainly expand beyond our current limitations.
The classroom will probably never be able to completely overcome its limitations, nordoes it have to. Its goal is not to substitute for the outside world, but to bring students to the point where they can begin to use the outside world for further acquisition, to where they can beginto understand the language used on the outside, so that they understand "real" language to at least some extent, and to be conversationally competent, that is, by giving the student tools to manage...
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