Reflect on Your Practice
As you reflect on these questions, write down your responses or discuss them as a group.
- How do you incorporate communication into lessons that are focused primarily on new vocabulary? How do you help make these exchanges more interpersonal, so that students feel they have a stake in their communication?
- How do you encourage students to express themselves when the words they want to use are not part of the main lesson?
- How do you incorporate writing into a lesson, particularly when the language uses characters instead of letters and words? How do you accommodate differences in motor skills, such as left-handedness vs. right-handedness, among students when you teach writing in a new script?
- What long-term or ongoing projects have you developed that allow students to integrate the various pieces of language they are acquiring along the way?
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.
Sports in Action (German) illustrates word-building for beginners through sports, and Daily Routines (Japanese) uses comprehensible input to introduce new vocabulary and begins introducing written language with a non-alphabetic writing system.
Put It Into Practice
Try these ideas in your classroom.
- Plan a lesson in which students can use new vocabulary to express an opinion. Even if students have learned only a few new words, have them use these terms to state how they feel about something. (For example, Ms. Gao had students express personal preferences using eight new sports terms.) Provide additional words to students who want to go beyond the given word group. They will remember these words.
- When teaching vocabulary, group or chunk words based on common factors. Students learn and remember new words better when they see the patterns and connections among them. For example, when Ms. Gao taught new sports vocabulary, she concentrated the lesson on sports that use balls. In Chinese, these sports have a common character, which enables students to learn them as a set.
- Design a project or activity that serves as an "umbrella" for smaller classroom activities, especially at beginning levels. For example, projects like writing letters to other students or developing skits can effectively incorporate new information with older work in a realistic, ongoing method of communication.
- Review a lesson that you have recently taught to see if it would be useful and appropriate to incorporate TPR.