Language production, or output, is not simply a product to demonstrate learning but part of the learning process. The output hypothesis, a theoretical model of second‐language acquisition, proposes that second‐language learners must produce the language they are learning in order to obtain a level of proficiency similar to that of native speakers. The purpose of this article is to apply the principles of the output hypothesis to language and literacy instruction for English‐language learners (ELLs). A brief review of literature related to the input and output hypotheses is presented and is followed by application of the output theory to several common classroom practices. Emphasis is placed on the importance of moving beyond providing input for ELLs and intentionally targeting children's language production. Hypothetical examples of teacher talk and teaching strategies that encourage output are provided.
The Reading Teacher – Wiley
Published: Mar 1, 2008
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