There are good articles on FLOW here. Search them. This work is about flow of language. Meandering language. When we forget that, when we forget that languages are acquired below the radar of the Sauron-like eye, we succeed at this work in ways that we never could have predicted.
We flow with this stuff because that’s how language works. We can’t control where the discussion will go nor can we control which structures we teach. It’s the non-targeted discussion all over again. Those new to the term “non-targeted” can search it. The more stories I do, the more I believe in just hanging out and seeing where class goes.
I feel that whenever I have some goal in mind to teach on that day that there is a slightly stilted, flat, grey and two-dimensional quality to the class. The students sense that I need for something to happen and to convey that need to a teenager is to drop all hope of a successful outcome. I just needed to get that off my chest. I don’t want to resurrect this discussion of many years here – just needed to say it.
Very minimal planning. (The idea of assessing and planning in language acquisition classes is just ludicrous to me. How can we assess that which is below the conscious mind? How can we plan what to teach when language is so BIG? It’s like explorers on a big new planet who explore one little valley of it and then report back to Houston that they know the planet itself.)
No using a crowbar to make the class learn some specific structure, no frenetic wish to “hit the structures hard”. I only do Step 1 these days if I see some potential fun in the PQA. Like others have said (Chris, Eric), we can do PQA during the story, expanding on anything we say that we sense is weak in the kids. Why plan beforehand when we can sense during class what the kids need to learn?
Then, in the reading of the story, that is when we can use English (I prefer the ROA sequence for Step 3) to teach mega-grammar, since grammar is correctly written language based on previously correctly spoken language.