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: Vegetables We Like
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 engage your students with products (art, visuals, realia) from other cultures? How do these elements support use of the target language and build learners' language performance?
  • Do you have stations in your classroom? What are some possible activities that are well suited to autonomous learning in small groups of learners? What should be in place in order to make such stations successful—and not a challenge to classroom management?
  • How might you alter the activities shown in the video to suit older learners?

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.

  • Fruits of the Americas (Spanish) illustrates how students learn the names of different fruits and then practice the vocabulary words with partners and with the class.
  • Mapping Planet Earth (French) features activities that enable students to connect content from different other subject areas.
  • Interpreting Picasso's Guernica (Spanish) provides an example of connecting language with art for more advanced learners.

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.

  • When planning your lessons, think about ways to involve different sensory experiences in your activities. Sight and sound are easy to incorporate into a world-language curriculum; there may be fewer opportunities to employ touch, taste, and smell. When they are included, these other senses can be crucial in helping students retain vocabulary because the students connect the new words to their lived experiences. If your school's policy allows it, bring in realia whenever possible. If you're teaching a unit on cooking, bring in the actual foods to share and eat with your students. If you're doing a unit on shopping, bring in real coins from your target culture for them to feel or use in a role-playing activity.

  • Incorporate art into your curriculum at all levels.
    • Have students identify what they see in a landscape painting or photograph, for example. Ask what they would smell and how they would feel. Have students identify all they can to place the scene in a context (e.g., the season, historical time period, geographical location, and more).
    • When teaching languages that have a script unfamiliar to your students, lessons on calligraphy can be a great way to connect art to learning a new alphabet.
    • Cartoons can also be an excellent means to spark conversation. Give uncaptioned cartoons to your students and have them imagine what the characters are saying. Additionally, students of all levels can draw and caption their own cartoons using language accessible to their level.
    • For students with stronger language skills, expose them to important pieces of art from your target culture and have them interpret the pieces.

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