“Is it okay to give my kids a grammar packet?”

I believe that presenting analytical exercises AFTER the language in question is firmly acquired is completely in line with CI principles. We present SOME limited analytical input (pop-ups) during acquisition, but the important thing is that analysis is not even close to being the main or the first method or technique getting the students to acquire the language. And our yardstick is the acquisition, not the analytical knowledge.

The problem comes only when people feel that presenting analysis as the primary means of instruction will produce fluency or proficiency. And also sometimes when the grammar that is presented is too detailed. If a native speaker of English would have problems stating similar rules in English, or doing that exercise in English  (or if one does as the teacher writing or presenting the packets!) then that grammar should be reconsidered. I like to use the “my mother test”: if my mom, who is a native speaker of English who has nothing at all to do with language teaching or similar, and doesn’t have a high school diploma, can do something, it’s probably not too rarefied from the perspective of useful language skill.
Now, how many native Spanish speakers who are not teachers can list the situations when Ser is used as opposed to Estar? I mean in rule form. How many can fill in an acceptable answer in a blank? Probably all of them.
How many native English speakers (who have not taught EFL) can state the rules for when a definite article is required in front of a noun? (use of “the”).
But things like conjugation paradigms, adjective agreement — those are things the average native speaker is aware of and could do.
We also teach cultural content, and that is not language per se. It’s knowledge that the kids need to have. I would continue dialoguing with colleagues at “upper levels” when possible, but if grammarizing the students means a smoother  transition, and it’s done as described on a recent post on the MORE list — with a light hand, and mostly optionally for the students who finish something early — I for one think it’s just great. Those are the kids who are likely to go on to a higher-level, grammar-centric teacher anyway! It’s kind of like giving Chinese students handwriting-from-memory exercises as an optional, lighthearted thing, rather than as homework, 20 times each, before the words are even learned.
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