I just read an interesting article written a few years ago from ACTFL that discusses some of the instructional techniques from the book Enacting the Work of Language Instruction: High-Leverage Teaching Practices by Eileen W. Glisan and Richard Donato. One of the things that really struck me was the need to stifle the instinct to translate for our students. We don't like to see them struggle - but that struggle is key to the learning process! As the article states, "If the teacher’s TL utterances are always followed by a translation, learners quickly realize that they need not focus on the target language message and that, if they just wait long enough, a translation of the target language will be provided." I think this is especially important for our ELL students. I have met many ELL students who rely on teachers translating for them; this is a disservice to their learning process in the ELD classroom. If the content isn't clear when explained in English, then the content needs to be adapted to the student's level. At the high school level, sometimes it is difficult to find good content at the emerging level, so I'm constantly seeking out sources for good content.
My take away - keep comprehensible input and output at the forefront of all lesson planning.