Natural Language Acquisition Outside the Classroom

Language can be taught in a classroom but in order to make it connect with the students it has to be something that is an authentic process, meaningful to them, and useable. How about things like setting up an Immersion day taught by Deaf instructors? Another possibility is hosting a ‘foreign exchange student’ concept with a local Deaf family who could host students as an “ASL Exchange Student”. Students could explore culture/language while giving back to the local Deaf community. This could be a paid experience, so instead of students paying the dorm fees or apartment fees, they can pay the family. Would ASL tours in your local communities led by a guide who is Deaf provide more engaging opportunities for language learners? They will be able to increase their contextual knowledge and have a slew of new signs that they would incorporate into their vocabulary. According to Stephen Krashen’s Theory of Second Language Acquisition, he points out that ‘conversations with sympathetic native speakers who are willing to help the acquirer understand are very helpful’. When it comes to learning a language as an infant we generally learn from those around us, we model language in order to communicate our thoughts and ideas. A student’s individual learning experience can be improved drastically by maximizing the opportunities in and out of class to acquire language in a natural manner. 


Schutz, R. (2007, 07 02). Stephen krashen’s theory of second language acquisition. Retrieved from


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