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

French: Touring a French City
Connect to Your Teaching

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

  • How do you decide whether or not to devote significant time to a project? How might you incorporate several large projects into a year- or semester-long curriculum?
  • How do you incorporate multiple Standards -- for example, language and cultural Standards -- into a large, independent project?
  • How might you encourage students with limited vocabulary to use personal expression?

Watch Other Videos
Watch other videos in the Teaching Foreign Languages K–12 library for more examples of teaching methodologies like those you've just seen. Note: All videos in this series are subtitled in English.

  • U.S. and Italian Homes (Italian) illustrates the use of strong visual support for teaching about habitats.
  • A Place I Call Home (Arabic) shows how a teacher uses technology to provide students with a wide range of authentic cultural materials.
  • Hearing Authentic Voices (Spanish) presents modeling and sequencing activities ranging from precommunicative practice to personal expression.

Put It Into Practice
Try these ideas in your classroom. Where it’s not already evident, reflect on how to adapt an idea that targets one performance range for application to other performance ranges.

  • Design a culminating project that provides students with a memorable foreign language experience. A city/town unit such as Ms. Neuman's can be done in any language. Add a historical element by having students design a town in a certain time period, such as Paris in the Middle Ages. You could show a relevant film, such as Notre dame de Paris, either before or after the project. When designing a culminating project, include time for intensive planning and revision based on experience. Consider the tools and materials that students will need at home or at school. As with any project, incorporate opportunities for assessment and make clear to students your expectations for the various skills and knowledge that you will be observing. In addition to language acquisition and use, a culminating project can help you assess students' research skills, cultural knowledge, and creativity.
  • Lead students toward a desired performance by modeling activities. Modeling is not only an effective instructional strategy, but it also enables you to conduct more of your class in the target language without having to resort to English. For each major task in her lesson, Ms. Neuman modeled the desired interaction. She began with either a teacher/student interaction or a demonstration of the performance herself. Sometimes she also had a student pair model the activity before opening it up to the whole class. Typically, an effective build-up begins with the teacher (1) demonstrating the task, (2) asking one or two students probing questions about the topic, (3) having students work in pairs to ask and answer questions on their own, and (4) having students interact with many classmates for a set period of time.

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