I consider what Bryan wrote below to be of immense importance. Why? Because real language teaching is about some noise, and not making language instruction as transparent as we all have insisted on over the years. We really lost our way over the years with the focus on transparent instruction to teach specific linguistic elements that we see in the TPRS world. It is one reason Tina and I have had to break with the TPRS people. They don’t get Beniko’s research. Noise is good. It’s not noise at all to the unconscious mind.
One thing I’ve noticed when experimenting with Story Listening and NT is that because I am trying to use more synonyms and rephrasing, as well as using drawing, actions, my voice, etc. I am more free to speak more naturally than I feel like I have otherwise. Because I’m not worrying about being 100% comprehensible I don’t have to edit myself and the words I use quite as much. This alone is a huge weight off of my back, and I can see how students get a richer “net” of words to draw from. They may not understand every little bit, but surely something will stick with them, and they are able to get much more input that way.
Conclusions: SL = richer language in class = greater gains = lower affective filters = easier for the teacher = easier for the students