Q. Does Julie ever ask, “What did I just say?” or do quick translations for clarification?
A. Yes, BUT both are very limited in how many times they get used. This is the fascinating part to me. The less English used by the teacher, I have noticed in DPS, the more L2 output by the kids there is.
I have been looking very closely at this, and I now stand fully by my newly found position that the difference between 99% and 95%-97% L2 use is a huge chasm. When kids know that they have no wiggle room to toss out stuff in L1, they find ways to say it in the TL, because they want to be heard.
It is this desire to be heard and the resultant forcing of L2, if they indeed want to be heard, that is most fascinating right now. The desire to be heard is a natural human need, and it will find a way.
That is why this image-assisted new form of strict L2 use with Power Point images, done almost routinely now in DPS in lieu of stories, which most new teachers shun and no blame there, is so interesting to me. The Power Point captioned images just create more output than stories, and that’s all there is to it.
I think it’s time after all these years to move to embracing this idea that our students have a desire, a need, a want to express themselves and if they can’t do it in the L1 they will do it in the L2. Do you see the possibility here? If this assumption is right, then extreme limits on L1 use will catapult the amount of output we hear in our kids.