Thanks to Dom of Dom's MFL page for posting this. In my ignorance I had not come across it before. It is a good starting point for teachers. Dom goes on to talk about how he tries to incorporate these needs into his teaching by making sure the classroom is comfortable, safe, supportive and so on. This all makes sense and is implicit in the practice of successful teachers. It might not solve the needs of the novice or experienced teacher who is trying to master "crowd control" (who said "teaching is 90% crowd control"?) and it may not be a panacea model (what is?), but it's a good starting point in establishing a supportive and productive learning environment. If you can get that right you can then refine your practice with all the technical requirements such as use of target language, effective questioning, stimulating resources and the like.
Dom points out that to achieve the higher levels in the hierarchy the conditions of the lower levels must be achieved.
So it looks like we shouldn't just scare them into submission after all. What is the world coming to?
For an explanation and criticism of Maslow: