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7 Awesome Dr. Stephen Krashen Quotes

Dr. Stephen Krashen Quotes

Listen to me.

Boy do I have some nice Dr. Stephen Krashen quotes for you today! I’ve just finished reading the interview John Fotheringham of Language Mastery did with Dr. Krashen, renowned linguist.

For those who don’t know who Dr. Krashen is, his research is the force behind the input theory. It’s the main reason people like Khatzumoto, the guys of Antimoon, Donovan of Mezzofanti Guild fame, Matt and I became awesome at our target languages. And because Dr. Krashen is so awesome, I’ve distilled 7 awesome quotes from the interview.*

*If you want the entire interview yourself, simply sign up for John’s newsletter; you’ll also get a 25% discount on his guide Master Japanese: Self-Guided Immersion for the Passionate Language Learner.

7 Stephen Krashen quotes, here they are:


“We acquire language when we understand what we hear and read, when we understand what people are saying to us, not how they say it.”


“Consciously learned rules have very limited functions: We use them to edit what we say and write, but this is hard to do, and sometimes they can help make input comprehensible, but this is rare.”


“We do not acquire language by producing it; only by understanding it.”


“The ability to produce is the result of language acquisition, not the cause.”


“Even if you live in the country where the language is spoken, it is hard to get comprehensible input from the “outside world”, especially if you are an adult.”


“Language acquisition proceeds best when the input is not just comprehensible, but really interesting, even compelling; so interesting that you forget you are listening to or reading another language.”


“Language acquisition proceeds best when the acquirer is “open” to the input, not “on the defensive”; not anxious about performance.”

You expanded my mind, Krashen!

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A Spanish teacher by trade, Ramses is a true language learning addict. He started and The Language Dojo, and isn't even thinking about quitting language learning; it's in his blood!


Andrew September 18, 2012 at 10:02 pm


“Language acquisition proceeds best when the input is not just comprehensible, but really interesting, even compelling; so interesting that you forget you are listening to or reading another language.”

Yes!!! That is the most important criteria right there in my opinion, I’m so glad to see that here. Even if you’re using a crappy method, you will get fluent if you keep at it long enough (it might take 2 years instead of 6 months, but it’ll happen if you persist), the problem is that most people give up long before then. Why do they give up? Because it wasn’t fun, that’s why. It was boring, difficult, uninteresting, and tedious…and that sucks. Don’t suck, make it fun. Fun, fun, fun. Fun with movies, fun with books, fun with video games. Make it fun.



Ramses September 19, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Hm, I’m missing the “like” button here 😉 Man, we should give workshops on language learning and have people jump around and scream, while playing Spanish rap and talking in Spanish to them 😀

FUN is everything, indeed. It doesn’t matter what method you use (although a good method will only motivate you, whereas a crappy method will bring you down eventually).


Matt September 20, 2012 at 3:57 am — followed by us saying “and now, students, you speak Spanish.”


Livonor September 25, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Why did no one show that video to me before?


Andrew September 20, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Get a group of people who want to learn a language, only criteria is that they must be single. Introduce them to native speakers of the language they want to learn, all of whom are attractive, roughly their age, of the sex they’re attracted to, and who don’t speak anything other than their native language. You have solved the motivation problem.

I have no idea whatsoever how you’d organize this in reality…you probably couldn’t.

I’ve always said the most effective way, by far, to learn a language is to get a native speaker for a boyfriend/girlfriend who doesn’t speak your language at all. You’ll be half-ass conversational within a week and fluent in a couple months 😀


Ramses September 20, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Dude, my girlfriend speaks Polish and Hungarian fluently (and Dutch, but I’ll forget that for just a moment ;-)), but whenever I try to speak Hungarian with her we end up kissing and fooling around. Doesn’t work for me at least haha.


Richard February 10, 2013 at 2:24 am

Interesting video.

Why the Bob Marley weed image?


Kristina Ciminillo February 17, 2013 at 7:35 am

I K R !?


Matt February 21, 2013 at 7:56 pm

I suspect it’s because 1) it follows the ‘Don’t Worry’ quote, 2) it’s often a linked to mind expansion, 3) Ramses is Dutch, and you know… Amsterdam.

Let he who has not smoked cast the first stone.*

*No stone casting allowed in The Language Dojo, except in our Saturday afternoon Stone Casting for Beginners course (sign up now!).


Beniko Mason November 3, 2013 at 4:49 pm

It is not “input + 1” but “i + 1”.


John Fotheringham June 1, 2014 at 12:08 am

Just wanted to let everyone know that you can now read the entire interview on the site without subscribing to the newsletter. I am now offering Language Mastery Insiders a new bonus gift each month so I figured it was time to share Krashen’s wit and humor with the maximum number of folks.


Matt June 3, 2014 at 6:24 pm

Cool, thanks John. Krashen is the MAN. -Matt


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