How do we get out of this mess?

The mess is the 96% of students who do not become proficient in a fl (from J. Lawson’s article “Does foreign language
teaching matter”, published in 1971 and cited in James Asher’s book
Learning Another Language Through Actions – thanks, Karen).
You will never convince the bulk of fl teachers that having students memorize grammar rules does not lead to proficiency b/c that would mean they would have to change what they do. They will not do that. They will come up with a million excuses but in the end it doesn’t matter b/c they will not change.
The only thing we can do is flood the fl teaching market with teachers willing to abandon grammar instruction for communication. I still have trouble wrapping my head around Terry Waltz’ distinction between CI and commuicative, but I don’t care what you call it, as long as the teacher is communicating with the students in the TL.
I myself find this very hard to do. Part of the reason is that there are so many things to do in a classroom. If our kids came to us as tabula rasa or properly prepared, we could launch into the enjoyable sorts of language teaching tprs wallows in. God bless those tprs teachers and others who manage to keep a class going without losing those kids who come in with a chip on their shoulders or a lack of belief in themselves. Even at a prep school, I find plenty of kids whose self-esteem is in the basement; the only thing they are valued for is their ability to get high grades.
Most kids, of course, are not so dramatically needy or deficient, but a significant number are. In one class I have (only 17), I can count on just about across the board engagement; two kids have learning disabilities severe enough to require an IEP (one is autistic), but they are in the mix. Working with this class is just a matter of feeding them. My other classes require some nurturing, maybe premasticating the nutrients.
The latter classes require a lot of management and I’m just not sure how I could do that by staying in the TL 90% of the time. Very often, a suitable or even magical moment occurs I want to capitalize on and if I said it in Latin, the comprehension just would not be there and the moment would be lost. I can’t figure a way out of that.
Next year, with two small first year classes, I am hoping to start out in the TL and remain there as much as possible. Setting up that atmosphere and expectation will be tough b/c so many of these kids are coming from prep school environments where garnering points and maintaining the GPA through focus on testing are the key factors in success. Students who have done well at that really resist a non-competitive and relaxed environment. 
Why wouldn’t they? Their success has lain in beating out their peers, proudly showing A report cards to their parents, and basking in the “good kid” ambience teachers create in their classrooms. The surly boy, the pouty girl, the wall flower, the loud mouth, and all the other distracting and disruptive types get short shrift. I just got an e-mail this week from a parent who said my class is the only one their son willingly talks about and if other teachers taught the way I do, they probably would not be moving him to another state for his education.
And I tell my students outright, I start earning my pay when I deal with the 10-20% of kids who don’t learn easily. The rest of them, esp at this prep school, are a dream to teach. Yet I see teachers who believe they are doing the right thing by showing these kids that they don’t belong in a prep school.
And, you know, that may be true, but I can’t discriminate in my teaching. I want everyone to learn to the level of their ability. Unfortunately, we have had way too many of these “rigor” types who believe you can overcome (make the student overcome is more like it) any manner of obstacle. Certainly there is some truth to the notion of seeing obstacles as challenges and meeting those challenges head on. But what I see is students unprepared in one way or another for the teaching methods that say, “Here’s the bar, set this high; now jump over it.”
Who sets the bar? Has the student been coached so as to be able to do that? I see teachers spending their lunch hours with kids coaching them. That teacher has the right to be “demanding”; but I’ve seen far more who say, “I present it, they practice it, and then I test them.” Is that teaching? 

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