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Input and Interaction

There are three factors that must be necessarily present for the success of SLA: input, output, and interaction.


the input hypothesis


The input hypothesis is Krashen’s way of explaining how language acquisition takes place . Krashen believes that comprehensible input which is the messages that students understand is a must to achieve language acquisition. Input must be slightly above students’ current level and there must be and teachers must use differentiated instructions to meet their students levels and needs. Examples of how to make comprehensible input would be through pictures, gestures, repetition, and recycling vocabulary.

The Input Hypothesis

the output hypothesis


Swain's output hypothesis states that language learners learn from outputs because it helps them in identifying the gaps of what they would want to say versus what they are able to say and improve it consciously. Learners are promoted to process the formal meaning instead of the simple semantic processing. Through the output hypothesis learners learn from others who share the same or a higher level.It also encourages the learner to use new ways to learn the target language accurately. Though pushed output learners are pushed to engage in production and to use the target language accurately and to deliver messages precisely. This could enhance fluency and accuracy and exposes learners to feedback. An example would be creating scenarios where language learners will engage in conversation and receive feedback.

The Output Hypthesis

the interaction Hypothesis


Long’s interaction hypothesis focuses on the use of target language in interaction and refers to it as the most effective method of language acquisition. Long explains that while language learners are faced with situations when they are interacting where they don’t fully understand, it is during these situations where learning becomes more effective. The theory refers to this situation as negotiation where learners attempt to repair the miscommunication during the interaction. Negotiations are essential in promoting language acquisition and help to make input comprehensible. An example of using the interaction hypothesis is allowing student interactivity in the classroom and through promoting a student center culture.

Swain, M. (1985). Communicative Competence: Some Roles of Comprehensible Input and Comprehensible Output in its Development. in S. Gass and C. Madden (Eds.). Input in Second Language Acquisition (pp. 235-253). Rowley, MA: Newbury House.

Long, M. H. (1996). The role of the linguistic environment in SLA. In W. C. Ritchie and T. K. Bhatia (Eds.), Handbook of SLA (pp. 413-468). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

Krashen, S. D. (1985). The input hypothesis: Issues and implications. London and New York: Longman.


Presentation by: Dana Kaissi

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