Reflect on Your Practice
As you reflect on these questions, write down your responses or discuss them as a group.
- Describe a recent lesson you taught that demonstrated a clear learning sequence. How might you determine if a step is missing in the sequence?
- How might you use TPR, role-playing, and gestures with students at your grade level?
- When teaching thematically, how do you integrate cultural topics?
- What kinds of formal and informal assessments do you use to check student progress?
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) shows students using information about their own homes to connect to class discussions, and Routes to Culture (Spanish) demonstrates a rotation technique used for multiple interpersonal exchanges.
Put It Into Practice
Try these ideas in your classroom.
- Use sequential scaffolding to design a lesson. Begin by describing the outcome you want students to achieve, then outline a series of steps that takes them to that point. Select the key vocabulary, grammatical structures, and cultural aspects that you want to address. Keep in mind any new learning you want students to master at each step. Ms. Dyer began by identifying her end goal -- having students state in sequential order the activities that make up their daily routines -- then designed the prerequisite steps for students to reach this goal in one class session. (This end goal was also planned to tie in with her intended outcome for the overall unit.)
- Use visuals to support learning. Visual prompts help students associate language with meaning and keep them focused on productive tasks. Keep in mind that lesson-based visuals are learning tools. Classroom decoration, by contrast, serves a different purpose: to evoke the ambiance of the target culture. Ms. Dyer provided visual support for every activity: realia for her TPR introduction, photo panels for cultural insight, cards and worksheets with drawings for practice exercises, student-created filmstrips to organize students' own information, and drawings of cultural practices for the Venn diagram. Some of the materials were commercially produced, but Ms. Dyer and her students made the majority. Collect realia that can be used for comprehensible input, and find ways to use drawings to assess student comprehension.