Using Group Games to Teach the Present Continuous Tense
Louis Giancola, Vermont Adult Learning, Colchester, VT
May 2008, 4:40 minutes
Based on Stephen Krashen’s theory of natural language, Louis Giancola creates a relaxed atmosphere for language learning, “lowering the affective filter” to help students take risks in learning the new language. He includes American baseball as content because some of the students had said they want to better understand the game. The following description of the Affective Filter may be helpful.
Dulay and Burt (1977) proposed the idea of the Affective Filter being something which determines to what degree a person learns in a formal or an informal situation (as cited in Baker, 1996). Affect is defined as “the effect of personality motivation and other ‘affective variables’ on second language acquisition” (Krashen, 1994,p.57). Krashen applies this theory to language learning and looks at its influences on the rate of second language acquisition in three areas: anxiety, motivation, and self-confidence.
If a learner has low anxiety, high motivation, or high self-confidence, s/he is said to have a low affective filter. This in turn assists with allowing in more information and providing a fertile venue for learning. On the contrary, if a person has high anxiety, lower motivation, or a lower self-esteem, the affective filter will be higher and does not provide the learner with as many “subconscious language acquisition” (Krashen, 1994, p. 58) opportunities as that of a person with a low affective filter.