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: A Place I Call Home
Connect to Your Teaching

Reflect on Your Practice

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

  • What strategies can you employ to ensure maximum comprehensible input in the target language during class?
  • What kind of vocabulary learning activities do you use to take students from word-level discourse to producing sentence- and paragraph-level discourse?
  • Do you teach dual-level classes? How can you use a common thematic focus to engage all learners in various activities across all three modes of communication, mixing students of both levels? Then, how do you plan so all learners are being challenged to use and understand language that stretches them to the level they are trying to reach? What are some strategies you might use to plan for such a course?

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 a sequence of activities that builds vocabulary and prepares students for real-life situations.
  • Touring a French City (French) illustrates how the teacher organizes activities that promote cultural knowledge.
  • Hearing Authentic Voices (Spanish) shows students interacting with the products of a culture.

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.

  • For homework, have students draw and label their house with appropriate vocabulary words to use throughout the unit as a study tool. In class, students work in pairs: one student describes his or her house without showing the partner the drawing, while the partner draws what is being described. After they finish, the students compare the two drawings using the target language. Then partners swap roles and repeat the activity.

  • Have students read authentic apartment ads or house-for-sale listings and write their own ad. Students could then do a role-play activity in pairs in which one person is looking for a house and the other is a realtor who is showing the apartments or houses. This is also a great opportunity for a cultural discussion about how people go about renting or buying a house in different cultures. For Arabic classrooms: highlight the role of the bawwaab (doorman) or simsaar (realtor) in finding a place to live, and show students authentic clips of the bawwaab or simsaar in popular culture and film. You may also ask students to compare ads from different parts of an Arab city or ads from across the Arab world. What similarities and differences do the students notice?

  • Have students make a final film or multimedia presentation in which they describe both a traditional house of their culture and a traditional house from an Arab country, and then compare the two.

  • An Arab foreign exchange student has just arrived at your house and will reside with you for the summer. Give him or her a tour of where he or she will be staying, noting any differences in furnishings or other features from what the student may be used to. For this activity, students may use either their real house or a typical house in your region.

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