What should I NOT do when teaching a language? -Robin
When teaching, I wouldn't get too hung up on TEACHING the language, but rather encouraging students to use the language. My mantra is: just be their conversation partner.
If students are asking too many questions about the language, remember that native, fluent speakers of a language often don't know the explicit answers to those questions either. Knowing a language doesn't mean being an expert about every rule; it means being able to communicate in the language.
If students can't speak on a given topic, it means they may not know how to form the questions and answers required to converse on that topic. They likely don't grasp the way verbs work in order to form questions and answers. In that case, you help them form a question and a few answers, paying attention to the way verbs and vocabulary convey thoughts. After a few rounds they'll get the pattern.
The important part is that students be authentically expressing themselves. Give them a question, help them form answers, and perhaps probe for further information. Let it be a conversation. Help them rely on verbs. Encourage them to think simply by relying on core verbs -- be, have, go, do, like, want, need, have to, be able to, try to. Prefer momentum and flow to detail. Don't waste precious communication time with excess analysis that doesn't come into play for the fluent speaker anyway. Remember: speaking a language fluently means being able to use the language without thinking about the language; so if you're thinking about the language, you are probably not speaking fluently.
Just be their conversation partner.