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

Arabic: Making Sales Calls
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 modify the register of language you use with your students to fit the task at hand? Do you have your students use the same register when speaking as they do when they are writing? Why or why not?
  • During what percentage of the class do you speak? During what percentage of the class do your students speak? What are some ways that you can increase meaningful student language production in your classroom?

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.

  • Making Plans (Arabic) shows students engaged in authentic conversations about what activities they will be doing in the future.
  • Touring a French City (French) shows students assuming the roles of tour guides and tourists and demonstrating oral proficiency.
  • Sports in Action (German) illustrates discussion around a narrowly focused topic.

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.

  • Mr. Bartolotti had his students do a role-playing activity about selling products over the phone. Role-playing activities in general provide a great tool for encouraging your students to use authentic language in real-life contexts. They can be incorporated into each unit you teach and enhanced with realia. Here are some important things to remember when setting up role-playing activities:

    • Each time you do a role-playing activity, make sure to model the scene clearly yourself. Using an appropriate, authentic video of a similar conversation can also help set the scene. Choose scenarios in which students assume roles they are familiar with and know well so that they are not trying to think of what to say, but can focus on how to express their thoughts. Also, make sure the roles require real negotiation of meaning. Avoid one-sided exchanges in which one person asks all the questions and the other has to answer every time.
    • During the role-playing activity itself, try to use realia as much as possible to enhance the atmosphere in the classroom. If the role-playing activity involves money, print out pictures of money from your target culture to use. If the role-playing involves drinking tea or coffee, give students cups found in the target culture to help them act it out. Keeping and using a set of basic props in your classroom for role-playing activities and skits can help increase student engagement.
  • Mr. Bartolotti connected the language across the curriculum with his Novice students by having them create a business and sell their products. Extend this idea with your Intermediate and Advanced students as well by adding extra components to the activities. For example, in your Advanced classes, have your students write a mock business plan for the business they would like to create. Then have them record a commercial or write an advertisement for the products or services that they offer. Not only does this connect to a business and marketing curriculum, but it also provides students with the opportunity to practice their presentational skills and use persuasive language.

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