Q. If teaching kids how to meet important benchmarks like the Can Do Statements is not what we should be doing, then what do you think is the best use of time in a foreign language classroom?
A. The best use of time is when we get our students fully focused on truly compelling messages, so that they are completely and not partially oblivious of the fact that they are hearing a language that they do not know, because they are so focused on the message being delivered. A student learns a language because she wants to understand what is being said. It has nothing to do with thinking about the language.
Dr. Krashen asked me rhetorically some years ago on the beach in SoCal at an iFLT function, “Ben, what don’t they get about the unconscious part?” My answer was, “Everything.”