Vocabulary acquisition, input, and extensive reading: A conversation

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John P. Racine; Marcos Benevides; Alastair Graham-Marr; David Coulson; Charles Browne; Joseph Poulshock, Tokyo Christian University; Rob Waring


JALT member Joseph Poulshock recently posted a video entitled “How do humans acquire language?” to the extensive reading (ER) website BeeOasis.com. In it, he describes his ALBUM Theory (acquire language by understanding messages), by which he means that the comprehension of input―for example, through ER―is the best way to acquire a second language. 

The video prompted an online discussion in which a number of JALT members exchanged ideas about the acquisition of vocabulary, the role of ER in the acquisition of various aspects of word knowledge, and the relative importance of input to the language acquisition process.  An abbreviated version of this conversation is presented here.