Stages of Language Learning

Sorry, the blog was down for a couple days. But we’re back up and running! I’ve been thinking about the progressive stages that children and adults experience when learning a foreign language. I would like to hear about your experiences with learning foreign languages? You can click on “comments” below and write your thoughts. How have you experienced similar stages? Do you remember going from one stage to the next? Below, I have written out a very brief outline of Stephen Krashen’s “stages of language learning.”

Pre-production: This is the “silent period” of language acquisition. Students at his level are taking in new language and trying to make sense of it in order to meet basic needs. Often students at this level can comprehend much more than they can produce.

Early production: Students at this level begin to respond with brief answers. Errors in grammar and pronunciation are frequent. It is important that students be able to take risks and experiment with the new language in a low anxiety setting.

Speech Emergence: Students at this stage are able to use language to communicate more freely and are beginning to use English for academic purposes.

Intermediate fluency: Students at this stage conduct conversations in English that are approaching native fluency. However, they are still developing cognitive academic competence, especially in the areas of reading and writing.

Advanced fluency: Students at this level demonstrate native-like fluency but may be experiencing difficulties in acquiring high levels of literacy.