Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Teaching Foreign Languages K–12

A Library of Classroom Practices

Chinese: Exploring New Directions
Analyze the Video

As you reflect on these questions, write down your responses or discuss them as a group.

Before You Watch
Respond to the following questions:

  • What do you need to keep in mind when teaching a class that includes more than two adjacent levels?
  • What literary genres are most accessible to high school students?
  • When is it appropriate to use English when working with literary texts?

Watch the Video
As you watch "Exploring New Directions," take notes on Dr. Fu's instructional strategies, particularly how she organizes the group activities for her multilevel class and integrates culture into each activity. Write down what you find interesting, surprising, or especially important about the teaching and learning in this lesson.

Reflect on the Video
Review your notes, and then respond to the following questions:

  • What routines has the teacher implemented to maximize instructional time and learning?
  • How does Dr. Fu ensure that students at different levels of study have a chance to be successful during group work?
  • How does Dr. Fu weave culture into the lesson?
  • How does the poetry component of the lesson provide cultural information for all levels of learners?
  • What perspectives of Chinese culture were developed in this lesson? What practices and products did students explore?
  • Consider the collaboration that took place among the Chinese IV students. What kinds of thinking, planning, and practice must have gone into the presentation that they performed?

Look Closer
Take a second look at Dr. Fu's class to focus on specific teaching strategies. Use the video images below to locate where to begin viewing.

Video Segment: Group Work Across Levels

You'll find this segment approximately 10 minutes and 30 seconds after the video starts. Watch for about 3 minutes.

Chinese II and III students work together in small groups: The Chinese III students in each group describe local restaurants to prepare for a restaurant review project, while the Chinese II students use a map to practice giving directions to the restaurants.

  • How do the maps that the Chinese II students use support the task of giving directions?
  • As students in Chinese II and III work together, how are the tasks differentiated?
  • How would you describe the language proficiency of the Chinese II students? How does the language proficiency of the Chinese III students differ from that of the Chinese II students?
  • How do the students react to working with classmates of a different proficiency level?
Video Segment: Poetry Recitations

You'll find this segment approximately 16 minutes and 30 seconds after the video starts. Watch for about 5 minutes.

Chinese IV students explain and then recite for their Chinese II and III classmates two poems involving directions.

  • What purpose is served by the students' use of English? Is this an appropriate place for English? Explain your response.
  • Why are these poetry recitations considered to be examples of "presentational communication"? How do the presentations reflect that students had interpreted the poems appropriately?
  • How do the Chinese IV students demonstrate effective presentational strategies? Does their audience understand the message of the poet?
  • What aspects of poetry as a literary genre make it accessible to high school students? What aspects of these specific poems make them a good choice for the students?

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Chinese: Exploring New Directions >
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