If a child feels that they are a valued member of a classroom community, they will acquire the language.
But many kids haven’t the slightest idea what being in a classroom community even means. It is due to the fallout from being in schools, where building classroom communities can’t compete with the teacher’s need to teach the subject matter, and no blame on the teacher.
But communities are built on language, exist only because of language, so we are in a different galaxy from other subjects in schools. So we are charged with the responsibility to find ways to uplift our students and, by teaching interesting things, draw them into the community. You can’t order them to do that.
Such drawing in of kids can only happen when they are given a daily shower of unconditional positive regard via our innovative and captivating language instruction, Sounds kind of like hippy talk. It’s not.
We stated earlier that according to the research we don’t have anywhere near the time we need to actually teach the language. So let us at least resolve to give our students positive language experiences so that they can at least want to learn more.
We are teachers, not deliverers-of-instructional-services, and so our primary professional goal should be first (a) to help and serve our students in their strivings to become productive members of society and only secondarily (b) to teach them the language. It is only via the first goal that we accomplish the latter goal.
I have never felt that I was a language teacher, not really, in terms of my job as a teacher. I have always felt that I was in the human connections business. The work of my life is to do all I can to help and uplift others.
That is what interests me – communication – and not so much the language as a subject of study in and of itself. After all, the language is not the standard – Communication via the building of community is.