Hola, Ben and Tina,
I recently received and am reading your new book and program “A Natural Approach to the Year.” I am so enthusiastic about implementing all of this as I have been a passionate follower of you and CI the last four years (and TPRS for the last 15).
I have a question to which I am sure is a lengthy response (and I know you have touched on this in other discussions elsewhere): in our PLC this morning, our department chair asked me to defend why I use CI and TPRS-type instruction. He is a teacher with eight years of experience, Masters in Linguistics, teaches methods classes on the side, and is a huge proponent of “students must be speaking and engaging in conversations most of the time,” the “I do, We do, You do, We all do” language instruction. He is an upper-level (4 and AP) and very successful with his AP program (100% pass rate the last three years of two or three full classes). He argues the Krashen theory is outdated as his instructors at the University of Utah (and Chantal Thompson at BYU) are professing output-based practice as the number one means to get students speaking quickly to prepare them for travel and conversations with people at work. I think in his mind he thinks that much of what we do is sit and speak at the students for the entire time and they rarely have the opportunity to engage in conversation and yet when I tell him that at the lower levels we are constantly engaging in conversation (through all the various activities and tasks) and I am constantly assessing their responses. I just don’t pressure them into attempting long discourses as that is way above their level. When I asked him to give us an example of a level 1 response to a question about describing one’s home, he gave us an intermediate-mid level response, saying that we should be pushing our students to speak 1+ their level.
Sorry, so long-winded. How do you respond to others who may have similar questions. I am not sure how to address this. We have a great relationship (we are considering starting a podcast where we have output/comprehensible input balance and share quick 5-10 minute tips/techniques to others using both input and output activities as the point of discussion) but I would love your input as to how you handle these discussions.