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

German: Holidays and Seasons
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:

  • How do teachers work with the shorter attention span of younger learners?
  • What strategies do elementary school teachers use to communicate with their students solely in the target language? Should they always communicate solely in the target language?
  • What are some ways of reviewing or practicing vocabulary with young learners, ways that differ from the initial learning?

Watch the Video
As you watch "Holidays and Seasons," take notes on Ms. Haberlen's instructional strategies, particularly how she structures the lesson for her young students. 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:

  • How does Ms. Haberlen organize her lessons, given that she has no permanent classroom? What opportunities and limitations does this present?
  • How does Ms. Haberlen scaffold activities so that students take more responsibility throughout the lesson? How does she involve all students in the activities?
  • How do students respond to each other's language performances? How does this benefit individual student performance?

Look Closer
Take a second look at Ms. Haberlen's class to focus on specific teaching strategies. Use the video images below to locate where to begin viewing.

Video Segment: Solving Riddles

You'll find this segment approximately 9 minutes into the video. Watch for about 3 minutes.

Students guess the answers to riddles posed by their classmates about the months.

  • What modifications to the model riddle do students make when they create their own riddles? How is this an "information gap" activity?
  • What evidence demonstrates that students who are listening understand?
  • What is the role of the teacher during this activity? What is the role of students?
Video Segment: Making Cultural Comparisons

You'll find this segment approximately 18 minutes into the video. Watch for about 4 minutes.

Students use a Venn diagram to compare the holidays of Fasching and Halloween.

  • What cultural practices are explored in this activity? What cultural products are explored?
  • How does the Venn diagram help students compare the cultural practices and products of Germany and the U.S.?
  • How is the cultural lesson integrated with the overall theme of the lesson, which is the year, months, seasons, and holidays?

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