I have heard people criticize TPRS for the insanity, the outlandishness, of some of the stories. In my opinion, they miss the point.
The fact is that we are just trying to attract and keep the students’ interest. Anything that does that, usually kind of crazy stuff, will address the real task at hand, which is immersion in L2.
Our students can acquire a language only when they hear it in uninterrupted form by English in ways that are interesting to them. That is Krashen’s CI. We can’t go back and forth from English to L2 using various activities and exercises and expect any results. Years of doing that have proven that such activities and exercises don’t work at all, and everybody is tired of it.
The new is here. It is the PROCESS of the flow of the uninterrupted correctly spoken language (read: grammar) alone that just bathes the brain in the language and then it is FREE TO ORGANIZE IT IN ITS OWN MIRACULOUS WAY, free of the English interruptions, free from wondering what language it is supposed to be in the process of decoding (“What language am I processing here???”).
Granted, too much silliness can become boring (Bryce made that point here last week), and it is true that using TPRS to teach non-fiction is a powerful thing, and Bryce’s point that we can mix the two is probably the best approach.
The goal is not content, but the UNINTERRUPTED FLOW OF LANGUAGE. As long as it’s interesting. Crazy or not. Texts written directly to teens, story scripts and the like (Anne Matava), texts written BY teens, as Michele has shown us lately, cannot fail.