Some things learned and decided about teaching this semester, lower division:
1. We need minute essays in the language courses — lower division courses.
2. We need reading and music and film and culture in these courses, and not canned culture, either. Without these things the courses are not interesting and also, the students do not have enough examples of good uses of the language.
3. The kind of communicative language teaching that seems to be promoted by people in linguistics, and that seems to be designed for people who want to use the language for “practical” reasons, is wrongheaded. This approach claims to be as far from grammar and translation as one can get, but it is actually grammar and translation’s close sibling.
4. That last point is a research insight and if SLA were my field I could and would do research to test this hypothesis, publish about it, and cause a major scandal first and a paradigm shift next.