Albert Einstein said that if you judge a fish by its ability to climb trees, you'll spend your life believing it's stupid. It is unfair to use a standard to evaluate people. Learning a language is something too complex and important to put in a box.
The language acquisition process is not linear.
We see and hear our students as a whole. Their history, production and potential. We give them space to create, but also all the support they need to produce.
It is impossible to ask someone who does not speak English to participate and interact with the language without any support. Here we just demand that the students be themselves. We are fickle beings, which is completely normal.
The objective of our classes is to provide a safe space where people feel comfortable enough to talk. However, it is necessary to set the mood for this.
Knowing what your student knows and acting accordingly is fundamental.
Making language either too simple will give your students less examples to look up to and less repertoire to repeat. Making it too challenging might undermine their confidence while not necessarily effectively teaching.
When dealing with lower level students who are unable to speak on their own (A1) it is always a good idea to ask closed questions and give them options or examples of answers.
Here are three different questions that are talking about the same things, but asking different questions that require different language skills to answer:
A1: -What do you like to eat? Pizza? Sushi? Chocolate?
B1: -What did you eat yesterday? Who cooked?
C1: -What did you have for dinner? How was the meal?