I have been coaching communicative confidence at Smith’s Tsukaguchi School since April 2002 and have used the Smith’s curriculum from the beginning. When I first started at Smith’s the curriculum was not as huge as it is now.
The older curriculum (the “Core” curriculum) was smaller and consisted of ITEMS and ROUTINES. Most of the ROUTINES were stories with 10 questions each, where students first listen and repeat through a story, then ask and answer 10 questions, first in context, then out of context. The goal of the routines was for students to learn the 10 questions for each story and be able to ask and answer them in conversation. My lessons were based mostly on these routines.
The curriculum is excellent, especially the 13 ROUTINES. There is no doubt, these days the curriculum is huge however I would have to say that the routines definately have proven to be best at getting my students to speak English with confidence.