25 years ago Stephen Krashen transformed language teaching. He hed been developing his ideas over a number of years, but several books he published in the 1980s received widespread acceptance. According to Krashen’s acquisition-learning hypothesis, there are two independent ways to develop our linguistic skills: acquisition and learning. This theory is at the core of modern language acquisition theory.
What is acquisition?
Acquisition is a subconscious process where we are not aware. We are unaware of the process as it is happening and when the new knowladge is acquired. This process is similar to the process that children undergo when learning their native language. Acquisition requires meaningful interaction in the target language, during which we are focused on meaning rather than grammar or form.
Learning a language is a conscious process, much like what we experiences in school. New knowledge are represented consciously in our mind.
Language acquisition does not require extensive use of conscious grammatical rules, and does not require tedious drill.
Acquisition requires meaningful interaction in the target language – natural communication – in which speakers are concerned not with the form of their utterances but with the massages they are conveying and understanding.