Evaluation Of Jeff Brown’s Video On Language Acquisition

It’s dangerous to query the narrative of Jeff Brown’s video that was watched by one million customers and acquired 42ok constructive likes. I dare to do it as a result of I do know that the preferred doesn’t at all times imply essentially the most environment friendly or helpful. The target “Purchase the language. Don’t study it” is great, however the instruments for attaining it had been invented half a century in the past and are out of date in the present day. They need to be modernized to benefit from the brand new expertise out there to us and the brand new studying habits of digital learners.

The assertion: “… purchase a language very like a child acquires his or her first language” is just not correct. It’s cited so incessantly however is, sadly, a fallacy. This quote from Heraclitus tells us why: “No man ever steps in the identical river twice. For it isn’t the identical river and he is not the identical man.”

How Adults And Youngsters Aquire A Language

Adults cannot reproduce the processes which kids use when studying their native language as a result of kids use unconscious studying, whereas adults use aware studying. Furthermore, adults proceed considering within the native language when studying a international language and thus have to beat the barrier that kids don’t have.

For kids, it’s a pure course of—first listening, after which talking. Throughout the first yr of listening, children are subconsciously forming the database of symbols and emotions through which they assume earlier than they can vocalize their ideas. You will need to perceive that symbols aren’t pictures or photos; for instance, the image “Mommy” contains “common” pictures of a mom and emotions of affection, heat, safety, identified heartbeat, and so on.

After a few yr of listening, a toddler begins talking; it’s the second stage of studying the native language. For just a few months, a toddler goes by means of one-word and two-word levels earlier than she or he begins producing sentences. On this stage, the phrases are wired on to the symbols which they describe.

Acquisition Principle

Krashen’s acquisition principle advocates the precept “first listening after which talking,” assuming that adults will copy the success that children have demonstrated within the acquisition of the native language. Jeff Brown states: “I’m not doing any studying or writing, solely listening and talking. Precisely what infants do.” Nonetheless, just a few moments later Jeff states: “Language acquisition is all about listening and never talking. You purchase the language by means of listening.”

Children and adults show two totally different studying mechanisms; that’s the reason the adults aren’t in a position to reproduce studying in the way in which that they simply completed as children.

Most adults will fail when utilizing “solely listening to a international language” as a result of they’re considering of their native language. Go to the Chinese language, Russian, Polish, and Spanish communities within the USA, and you will see that there are a number of grownup individuals who have been listening to English for a few years and can’t converse in English whereas their kids converse English with out an accent.

The Acquisition Speculation

The acquisition speculation was invented by Krashen half a century in the past. Krashen acknowledged that adults have two distinct and unbiased methods of growing competence in a second language: acquisition, which is unconscious, and studying, which is aware. Nonetheless, it isn’t straightforward to find out if a sure exercise is completed consciously or subconsciously.

Let’s contemplate an individual who began to discover ways to drive a automobile. To start with, he would not have the ability to maintain a dialog with anybody whereas driving as he could be specializing in the totally different strikes concerned. That is as a result of he is nonetheless utilizing his aware thoughts to drive. A number of weeks later, driving turns into a pure behavior that occurs robotically while not having to consider it. That individual may even begin utilizing his Bluetooth earphone or speaking to his associates whereas driving.

This has occurred as a result of the exercise of driving has been transferred to his unconscious thoughts and so the aware thoughts turns into free. The unconscious thoughts works on autopilot whereas permitting you to carry out just a few new duties within the aware mode! As this instance reveals, we frequently begin an exercise within the aware mode that later turns into unconscious exercise.

The acquisition speculation was an amazing leap ahead and launched many ideas that stay legitimate. For instance, no grammar and no corrections of errors; use the unconscious course of as a substitute of aware studying. Nonetheless, it by no means grew to become the mainstream methodology of language studying. For my part, the reason being that the applying of the acquisition speculation stays unchanged regardless of all technological developments and the brand new studying habits of digital learners.

Professor Brown provides a brand new function to the acquisition speculation by recommending: “Discover language mother and father (as many as you’ll be able to).” To me, this suggestion appears possible for a person however questionable for implementation on a big scale. We’ve got 1.5 billion individuals on this planet studying English and for them, language mother and father wouldn’t work.

The Use of Cellular Functions In Language Acquisition

Professor Brown recommends utilizing cell phones, primarily for recording your personal pronunciation and listening to it. It appears he’s not conscious {that a} cell app is essentially the most highly effective software that may create the setting for actually unconscious coaching in English abilities. Merely listening or studying phrases with language mother and father within the goal language represents a typical aware studying course of and due to this fact they don’t comply with the thought of acquisition as a unconscious course of of coaching.

So, every time you might be conscious of no matter you are doing, you may be assured that you’re doing by utilizing your aware thoughts. The unconscious thoughts is the a part of your thoughts answerable for discovering the patterns if you follow language acquisition and permitting you to carry out them in autopilot mode with out aware management or consciousness.

The final 13 minutes of the video are recorded with the target of demonstrating the interesting options of acquisition Arabic by Professor Jeff Brown utilizing “language mother and father.” The recording is completed very professionally; it reveals how Jeff remembered a mess of images from magazines and youngsters’s books pronounced by a guardian in Arabic. Isn’t it much like remembering the Arabic phrases from an image dictionary? How was Jeff in a position to bear in mind the Arabic phrases and keep away from forgetting them and even transfering them to his working reminiscence with out creating the sentences that are emotionally linked to his expertise?

It stays a thriller since most authors writing on the subject of studying vocabulary lists describe such makes an attempt as futile. My assumption is that Professor Brown already knew six languages when he began to study his seventh language and thus had acquired subconsciously (he’s not conscious that he has this capacity) a really particular talent of wiring the identified symbols with unknown phrases of a brand new language. Sadly, a layman wouldn’t have the ability to reproduce his expertise efficiently.

Professor Brown first states: solely listening, no studying or writing, nonetheless, within the second a part of his video he declares: “Studying is massively vital. It’s like placing the items of the puzzle collectively. Loads of grammar comes from studying.” Jeff quotes Beniko Mason, professor of Osaka College: “College students who learn 100-150 pages per week had the perfect outcomes.” Beniko doesn’t point out if she means paper studying or display screen studying. This quotation seems questionable since we all know from the newest publications that, for instance, US youngsters haven’t learn a ebook for pleasure in at the least a yr. Youngsters’ use of conventional media—corresponding to books, magazines, and tv—has dropped off, whereas time spent texting, scrolling by means of social media, and utilizing different types of digital media continues to extend.

We will’t change this development, however we are able to use it to our profit if we repackaged the acquisition speculation as a self-training cell app that might be used within the classroom and at residence or work. The modernized, digitalized acquisition method will guarantee unconscious coaching in a international language proper from the beginning and can get rid of the deficiencies of aware studying. Keep in mind this mantra: “Memorization goes to your short-term aware reminiscence, whereas acquisition goes to your unconscious long-term reminiscence.”

I want to elaborate on Professor Jeff Brown’s assertion: “I don’t assume after I converse. I need to converse naturally with out considering.” It’s a complicated assertion since an individual must assume first earlier than she or he is ready to converse. Pondering and talking are two totally different processes and every of them makes use of a particular language for processing. Pondering is completed in symbols; Steven Pinker provides to the language of ideas a particular title “mentalese.”

Youngsters assume in symbols first after which they purchase the native language subconsciously by wiring the identified symbols to the phrases immediately and forming a speech middle within the mind.

Adults assume in symbols too, that are already wired along with the respective phrases of the native language, thus creating the phantasm that we expect within the native language. We could conclude that the target of buying a international language for adults might be simplified, as wiring the identified symbols with unknown phrases of a goal language. The best approach to obtain this goal is to make use of unconscious coaching within the goal language. Adults first formulate their ideas in symbols and emotions, then when they’re prepared to talk, every image prompts a respective phrase within the speech middle and so they converse out robotically in a unconscious mode.


I want to stress the necessity to revitalize the acquisition speculation and switch it into the main program within the language business. The modernized acquisition speculation ought to use multimedia understandable enter and create a cell app for self-training language abilities through which grownup learners could use all their senses concurrently by studying, listening, and talking concurrently.

Utilizing this modernized acquisition method, adults are in a position to wire the database of identified symbols to the unknown phrases in a international language immediately, with out cross-translating them into the native language. On this course of, the primary boundaries—considering within the native language and the innate behavior of cross-translating—are turned off robotically as a result of when the mind is totally loaded by performing three actions concurrently, it can’t proceed performing another accustomed duties.


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