Deep down, I feel that it is best for our mental health to not have to plan, and I mean zero planning. The no-planning approach is also best for our students in terms of language gains when we don’t plan.
THE PARTS IN RED AND GREEN BELOW PUT THE SCALPEL ON THE PART OF THE ARGUMENT WHERE THE CUT NEEDS TO BE MADE: GENERALLY WHITE TEACHERS TEACH GENERALLY PRIVILEGED KIDS HOW TO MEMORIZE* FOR THESE IPAS. BUT NOBODY IS WILLING TO DO THE SURGERY ON THESE TEACHERS AND SO THEY GET AWAY WITH IT. IT’S THE GREEN PART THAT SHOWS HOW SPECIOUS THEIR ARGUMENT IS.
*The very concepts of memorization and proficiency are antithetical.
Thus, it is best for everyone that we not feel pressured in our classrooms to address artificial instructional strategies like teaching to “Can Do” statements. Justin Slocum Bailey recently supported this idea in a remarkable spot-on refutation of ACTFL’s Can Do statements:
“Use Can-Do Statements–just not like this.
Posted on April 6, 2016 by Justin Slocum Bailey
The introduction to the NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements, increasingly used in U.S. schools, features this helpful clarification:
These Can-Do Statements describe the specific language tasks that learners are likely to perform at various levels of proficiency. (p. 2)
What this means is that, if you tell me Kendra is an advanced speaker of Polish, I can reasonably infer, “Kendra’s Polish is probably good enough that she ‘can resolve an unexpected complication that arises in a familiar situation.’” (See Advanced Low Interpersonal Communication, p. 9.)
I cannot, however, conclude the following on the basis of the Can-Do Statements: “If I want to become an advanced speaker of Polish, I need to practice resolving unexpected complications that arise in familiar situations.” Rather, I need to acquire enough Polish that, if an unexpected complication arises, I have the language at my disposal to say whatever I think needs to be said and to understand what other people are saying in that situation. (Note that ACTFL defines proficiency as functional linguistic ability “in a spontaneous and non-rehearsed context” [ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines 2012, p. 3].)