Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

Monthly Update sign up
Mailing List signup

Teaching Foreign Languages K–12

A Library of Classroom Practices

Russian: Russian Cities, Russian Stories
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:

  • What are the challenges and benefits of differentiating instruction for heritage speakers and native speakers? What are the challenges and benefits of having them work with traditional learners?
  • What kinds of tasks are best for grouping novice learners with advanced speakers?
  • What guidelines help you determine when it is appropriate to use English in the classroom?

Watch the Video
As you watch "Russian Cities, Russian Stories," take notes on Ms. Shuffelton's instructional strategies, particularly how she differentiates instruction for different levels of learners. 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:

  • When does Ms. Shuffelton use English to mediate between students with different levels of proficiency?
  • How does Ms. Shuffelton acknowledge the Russian-speaking background of her students?
  • What do you observe about how the students collaborate during the group work?
  • The course level gap in most dual-level courses is one year, not three. What are some effective strategies that Ms. Shuffelton uses to handle this disparity?
  • The Russian IV students read an article from the New York Times as background for a discussion on President Putin's call for improving public health through exercise. How does this article stimulate their thinking, and what linguistic tasks does it promote?

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

Video Segment: Exploring City Names

You'll find this segment approximately 4 minutes after the video starts. Watch for about 5 minutes.

The class discusses the origins of several Russian city names.

  • What insights into language patterns do the students gain?
  • What are some of the historical and cultural facts that Ms. Shuffelton brings to light by using cities as a focal point?
  • How does Ms. Shuffelton keep the dialogue going between Russian IV students, Russian I students, and herself?
  • In what ways did the segment on city names provide new learning to both levels of students?
  • How does Ms. Shuffelton draw on the cultural knowledge of the native/heritage students?
Video Segment: Reading to Write

You'll find this segment approximately 9 minutes after the video starts. Watch for about 5 minutes.

Working in small groups, Russian IV students help Russian I students read and interpret a story.

  • What is the role of the advanced students in the groups?
  • How do the Russian I students benefit from working with the Russian IV students? How do the Russian IV students benefit from working with the Russian I students?
  • What is the purpose of the worksheet activity (see Resources)?
Video Segment: Creating Folktales

You'll find this segment approximately 14 minutes after the video starts. Watch for about 5 minutes and 30 seconds.

Working in groups, students use authentic materials to write an original story based on Ms. Shuffelton's model.

  • What does Ms. Shuffelton expect for the final written product? How does she share these expectations with her students?
  • How does the previous reading become a prewriting activity?
  • What is the purpose of the postcards and the doll?
  • When students work in groups, what interactions occur in Russian? In English?
  • What illustrates the diverse cultural backgrounds of the native/heritage students?

Next >

Russian: Russian Cities, Russian Stories >
Introduction | Class Context | Analyze the Video | Connect to Teaching | Standards | Resources

Foreign Languages Home | Video Organizer Chart
About the Library | General Resources | Glossary | Video Library Guide | Site Map


© Annenberg Foundation 2017. All rights reserved. Legal Policy