Robert’s response to his WL rep continues:
In addition, I disagree with what seems to be the assumption behind the statement, “I suggest that this period needs to be relatively short for a 14 year old”. The phrase “needs to be relatively short” implies that the teacher determines how long the silent period lasts. Second Language Acquisition research and theory maintain, however, that the silent period is unique to each person and “needs” to last as long as necessary for that person; that’s why year one contains the opportunity for “spontaneous, uncoerced output”. If we are to believe Chomsky, Van Patten and Krashen, acquisition is accomplished unconsciously as we attend to comprehensible content in the target language. While focusing on meaning the brain subconsciously maps the language being used. It is a non-linear internal process that does not lend itself to checking off boxes but requires a much deeper relationship between “informant” (teacher in our case) and “learner” (student) for assessment. This is not to say that there is no place for “grammar instruction”, but it should certainly be toppled from its throne as the crowning glory and driving force of instruction.
So are you saying that my thoughts with which you disagree are not excellent? :-p
I look forward to continuing the conversation.