Using too much English in the classroom is a situation that we all face. We need to get this one tied down for next year. It is hugely connected to classroom discipline and and gains in fluency yet we don’t really acknowledge that. We don’t realize what a snake English/L1 is in undermining the effects of jGR and the Classroom Rules.
How, indeed, do we go about addressing the question of how to fully enforce a 2% English rule – or whatever percentage below 5% as an absolute limit, on ourselves and a no-English rule on the kids consistently? What are the kids to think when we correct them once on a Wednesday and then the following Monday we let it go? This is a big deal.
It’s a Catch-22. The only way to stop it is to make a rule that says that we may, from time to time, need to use English to clarify things, while, since they are not the teacher, they don’ t have that right. It is the only way I can think and hopefully somebody comes up with something better.
The hypocrisy is that we say we do comprehensible input but we don’t. Not in the sense of the idea, in the truest sense, that CI is an unconscious din/flow/uninterrupted focus on meaning and not on words, a marvelous product of turning the acquisition over to the deeper mind, the only one part of the mind capable of learning a langauge. In the way that fully honors Krashen’s work.
I think I know what this whole thing is about. Ego. It’s about a stubborn reaction to a crazy idea by a discounted scholar who happens to have it right, that people learn languages by focusing on the meaning of what is being said or read and not focusing on the words so that language gains happen as an unconscious and not a conscious process.
That’s where my bitchy edge comes from, Robert, right there. In that unconscious/conscious idea. That’s where I lose patience with my colleagues.