Stephen Krashen

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Stephen D. Krashen
Born 1941 (age 74–75)
Chicago, Illinois
Occupation Linguist, educational researcher
Employer University of Southern California
Title Professor emeritus

Stephen Krashen (1941) is professor emeritus at the University of Southern California,[1] who moved from the linguistics department to the faculty of the School of Education in 1994. He is a linguist, educational researcher, and activist.


Krashen has published more than 486 papers and books, contributing to the fields of second-language acquisition, bilingual education, and reading.[2] He is credited with introducing various influential concepts and terms in the study of second-language acquisition, including the acquisition-learning hypothesis, the input hypothesis, the monitor hypothesis, the affective filter, and the natural order hypothesis.[3] Most recently, Krashen promotes the use of free voluntary reading during second-language acquisition, which he says "is the most powerful tool we have in language education, first and second."[4]


  • 1985: co-winner of the Pimsleur Award, given by the American Council of Foreign Language Teachers for the best published article
  • 1986: his paper "Lateralisation, language learning and the critical period" was selected as Citation Class by Current Contents
  • 1993: the Distinguished Presentation related to School Library Media Centers, was awarded to by editors of the School Library Media Annual
  • 1982: winner of the Mildenberger Award, given for his book, Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning (Prentice-Hall)
  • 2005: Krashen was inducted into the International Reading Association's Reading Hall of Fame.[5]
  • 2005: elected at the National Association for Bilingual Education Executive Board.[6][7]

Educational activism[edit]

As education policy in Krashen’s home state of California became increasingly hostile to bilingualism, he responded with research critical of the new policies, public speaking engagements, and with letters written to newspaper editors. During the campaign to enact an anti-bilingual education law in California in 1998, known as Proposition 227, Krashen campaigned aggressively in public forums, media talk shows, and conducted numerous interviews with journalists writing on the subject. After other anti-bilingual education campaigns and attempts to enact regressive language education policies surfaced around the country, by 2006 it was estimated that Krashen had submitted well over 1,000 letters to editors.

In a front-page New Times LA article published just a week before the vote on Proposition 227, Jill Stewart penned an aggressive article titled "Krashen Burn" in which she characterized Krashen as wedded to the monied interests of a "multi-million-dollar bilingual education industry." Stewart critically spoke of Krashen as the father of bilingual education. Krashen has been widely criticized in conservative and nativist political circles due to his influence on the field of language minority education, second-language acquisition, and his efforts to educate the public on matters related to English language learners in schools.

Krashen has been an advocate for a more activist role by researchers in combating the public's misconceptions about bilingual education. Addressing the question of how to explain public opposition to bilingual education, Krashen queried, "Is it due to a stubborn disinformation campaign on the part of newspapers and other news media to deliberately destroy bilingual education? Or is it due to the failure of the profession to present its side of the story to reporters? There is a great deal of anecdotal evidence in support of the latter." Continuing, Krashen wrote, "Without a serious, dedicated and organized campaign to explain and defend bilingual education at the national level, in a very short time we will have nothing left to defend."


  • Krashen, S.D. (1981). Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning (PDF). Oxford: Pergamon. 
  • Krashen, S.D. (1982). Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition (PDF). Oxford: Pergamon. 
  • Krashen, S.D. (1985), The Input Hypothesis: Issues and Implications, New York: Longman 
  • Krashen, S.D. (1989), "We Acquire Vocabulary and Spelling by Reading: Additional Evidence for the Input Hypothesis", The Modern Language Journal 73 (4), pp. 440–464 
  • Krashen, S.D. (1994), "The Comprehension Hypothesis and its Rivals", p. 9  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • Krashen, S.D. (1996), The case for narrow listening 24 (1), System, pp. 97–100 
  • Mason, B.; Krashen, S. (1997), "Extensive reading in English as a foreign language", System 25 (1), pp. 91–102 
  • Krashen, S.D. (2003), Explorations in Language Acquisition and Use (PDF), Portsmouth: NH: Heinemann. 
  • Krashen, S.D; Terrell, T.D. (1983). The Natural Approach. New York: Pergamon. 
  • McQuillan, J.; Krashen, S.D. (2008), "Commentary: Can free reading take you all the way? A response to Cobb (2007)", About Language Learning & Technology 6 (27), pp. 104–109 

Jarvis, H. and Krashen, S. (2014). ‘Is CALL obsolete? Language Acquisition and Language Learning Revisited in a Digital Age.’ TESL-EJ. Vol. 17. No. 4. pp. 1-6.


  1. ^ "Stephen Krashen : BIO". District Administration <---- Page Not Found. Need a new reference. 
  2. ^ "2005 NABE Executive Board Election, Regional Representatives, West Region —Candidates’ Statements & Biographies (PDF)" (PDF). National Association for Bilingual Education. 
  3. ^ Krashen, S. (2003) Explorations in Language Acquisition and Use. Portsmouth: Heimemann.
  4. ^ "Achievement Profile: Stephen Krashen". Scott, R. 
  5. ^ "Reading hall of fame". International Reading Association. 
  7. ^ Krashen, Stephen. "Evidence Suggesting That Public Opinion Is Becoming More Negative: A Discussion of the Reasons, and What We Can Do About It". 

External links[edit]

YouTube talk in 2015 by Krsashen