So I think we can say as a language teacher...it's ridiculous how little the kids want to speak the target language....why...they are scared...they know English...and usually NO ONE is holding them accountable to speaking that language.
Now, old school teachers, I might take a whopping for this but having the kids copy notes, do a worksheet, work their conjugations in a little boot is NOT working...they are becoming experts at getting their work done, and doing the task...but can they take that conjugated verb and go out in the world and produce a sentence? Many CAN'T!
The other day I was teaching my Spanish 3 and I noticed that the kids "thought" they felt very confident about being able to conjugate present tense verbs. I said "Alright, if I said...here's the verb "Escribir" right now...create a sentence using the nosotros form...who can do it?" Yep, what I thought...every single one of them were picturing that little boot and the nosotros form and trying to figure out what sentence to make...took on average about 45 seconds to a minute to get a sentence together....not good for Spanish 3.
So I listed a bunch of infinitves on the board and I said "Get up"...they looked at me like I was weird...I said "Get up, c'mon, stand up" So then they got up...I said "Walk around in the room right now" Once again, weird looks (I am use to it by now). I said "STOP WHERE YOU ARE" I said look at the person who is standing the closest to you...and right now take the verb "trabajar" and create a sentence using the "ella" form....pause, pause, pause, and then I hear a little chattering....they were USING their verbs!!!! They were FINALLY speaking to each other. I then said okay, other partner....translate in ENGLISH what he just said.
We went on and did this for about 15 more minutes...walking around, stopping, choosing partners, and talking. I walked around and listened to each kid and I was soooo impressed that after 15 minutes it was coming to them so much faster. Bam, they got off their butts and talked.
Yes, I am doing this EVERY CLASS, EVERY LEVEL!!!!