Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Teaching Foreign Languages K–12

A Library of Classroom Practices


Arabic: Making Sales Calls
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 are some strategies you use to differentiate learning and accommodate the needs of different types of heritage learners and nonheritage learners?
  • What is the main role of a teacher in a learner-centered classroom?
  • On what basis do you decide if a homework assignment is meaningful and useful or not? Describe the characteristics of a successful homework assignment.

Watch the Video

As you watch "Making Sales Calls," take notes on Mr. Bartolotti's instructional strategies, particularly his use of a role-playing activity to facilitate language production and the type of support he provides for students with stronger Arabic language skills and those with more minimal Arabic language skills. 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:

  • Mr. Bartolotti established singing as a regular ritual in the course. How did the students respond to the song? What are the benefits of regularly incorporating songs into your language-learning curriculum?
  • How did the structured nature of the telemarketing activity support students' staying in the target language?
  • Mr. Bartolotti highlights that colloquial Arabic is more natural for speaking in daily-life situations, whereas Modern Standard Arabic is more natural in writing. How might using the type of language that is used in authentic, native-speaker contexts help students as they connect with such communities throughout their second-language studies?

Take a Second Look

Watch the video again, but this time, focus on the following teaching practices: role-playing and differentiation.

Practice: Role-Playing

Mr. Bartolotti leads a role-playing activity designed to encourage authentic language use.

  • In what ways does the role-playing activity allow the students to be creative in the language?
  • What are the benefits of giving the “company design” portion of the lesson as homework rather than as an in-class activity?
  • What are some means that Mr. Bartolotti employed to encourage authentic language use during the role-playing activity?

Practice: Differentiation

Mr. Bartolotti structures activities so that students with different backgrounds and strengths work together and learn from each other.

  • What did Mr. Bartolotti do to differentiate the lesson for students at differing language levels?
  • How can encouraging students to teach each other help both the students who learn from their peers as well as the students who teach their peers?



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