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

German: Sports Stats
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 use modeling when assigning tasks?
  • What do you do when students want to go beyond the types of responses you designed the activity to elicit?
  • What instructional support is needed for students to be able to work successfully with authentic or content-rich materials?
  • What kinds of activities do you use to connect language learning to other curricula such as math or social studies?
  • What are some ways to encourage beginning writers to extend their ideas?

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.

Creating Travel Advice (Spanish) illustrates reading strategies for challenging authentic materials, and Communicating About Sports (Chinese) features students expressing their sports likes and dislikes.

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.

  • Try to communicate in the target language during all classroom activities. When giving directions or explaining activity procedures, model one or two tasks for students to help them understand the assignment. Check for comprehension informally as you proceed. For example, Ms. Garcia showed students how to fill in their graphs by drawing happy, sad, and "so-so" faces and providing written language examples. She also modeled how the class graph should be organized before letting students take the lead. While it may seem faster and easier to give directions in English, in reality, doing so breaks the atmosphere and removes an opportunity for language learning. If students themselves fall back on English, continue to respond in the target language to maintain that atmosphere. Although several times her students asked questions or elaborated in English when their ideas were linguistically too difficult for them, Ms. Garcia continued to respond in German.
  • To help students develop interpretive communication skills, design a reading plan for a text or for audio-visual material that leads students through previewing, skimming/scanning, and closer-look activities. Ms. Garcia designed a plan consistent with her school's language arts process; she defined the stages as predicting, scanning, listening, and following along. Begin with a prereading activity that includes predicting, brainstorming, creating a graphic organizer, and/or interpreting visuals. Next, have students skim and/or scan the text to focus on what they understand. This kind of activity gets at meaning while keeping students from getting stuck on what they don't understand. Ms. Garcia called this a "quick read" and asked students to "read like lightning." Once students have a basic understanding of the material, choose how closely you want them to study the text. Ms. Garcia asked students to identify favorite sports in Germany and to compare the sports' popularity in the U.S.
  • Give students opportunities to share their language proficiency with the rest of the school. Ms. Garcia's students appeared on their school's televised morning announcements with a skit they had produced. Look for events and venues that give your students the chance to present skits, announcements, or other materials to the school community.

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