Using Group Games to Teach the Present Continuous Tense
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,
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
Group Games Notes