Two track courses: acquisition & linguistics

I wrote this when I read the post entered below:
This is exactly the dividing line and many do not understand the basis of it. Learning grammar, or, to be more precise, linguistics, is a perfectly legitimate subject in an academic setting. I know tons of grammar in a number of languages I have no proficiency in but I find it the most fascinating, intriguing phenomenon. IF we had evidence that the study of grammar advanced proficiency in that language whose grammar we are studying, I’d be very happy.
However, it doesn’t take much effort to find language courses that are all grammar and the results have, over the decades since grammar study became the essence of fl classes, been pitiful.
So why not have two tracks, one for acquiring Latin where there’s tons of comprehensible input, and a linguistics class on the structure of the language, maybe even the history of it? Combining language and culture in a course is justified in many people’s minds b/c culture and the language that bears it are so closely intertwined, and it seems logical that studying the grammar would help push acquisition along, but the evidence for it isn’t there.
That’s how I see it, at least.
This was in response to this post: 

I was thinking back to a topic I posted maybe a few months ago on here about wanting students to recognize that they’re looking at an ablative vs. a dative in addition to translating it correctly.  Some were positing that it doesn’t matter as long as they have some inkling of which one it is and translate it correctly. But, let me throw this out there.

We are always touting that Latin “increases critical thinking/analytical skills” but I’m wondering if it’s exactly this sort of metacognition (being aware of what one knows and and what one doesn’t know; being aware of what one’s thinking while reading a sentence – e.g., “is this nominative/subject or nominative/complement?” instead of unaware internalization and automatic response) which gives us this “critical/analytical” edge.

Being aware of what one knows and what one doesn’t know is always a benefit but more specifically in the case of ’ecce’ where students get only accusative singulars in Ch. 4 and have to wait until Ch. 7 for the accusative plurals (invariably there will be those who will read this sentence and not hesitate to hit reply with a “Well, don’t use ’ecce’ then!” quip).  Even in the reading approach there has to be some awareness that one only knows “I am ___ing” and cannot yet say “I will ___”.

Lastly, ever since I – having been raised on the grammar-translation approach – started actually speaking Latin I have maintained this: it is very, very easy to change a thorough but passive knowledge of the language to an active one.

end post

This is the one I actually sent in response:

The argument over the past several decades has been that the study of
grammar does not, in and of itself, promote acquisition of the language.
That doesn’t mean that the presentation of grammar as a topic in its own
right is in any way useless or undesireable; it just doesn’t advance
proficiency in the language.

So why not a separate course in grammar, or, more properly, linguistics?
That would increase students’ awareness of the intricacies of grammar and
develop that critical edge. I’m all for it; but there seems to be no
evidence that the study of grammar leads to acquisition of the language. I
would be a very happy person if someone could present such evidence. I read
one guy, Mulroy, who claims that the whole communicative approach is some
sort of conspiracy to rob us of our ability to think, and the article was
junk. I read it very carefully some years ago. So when I say evidence, I
mean the same sort of evidence that has convinced many teachers to switch
over to communicative teaching with comprehensible input and “all that”.

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