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Teaching Foreign Languages K-12: A Library of Classroom Practices

View & 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 you adapt instruction when your class includes heritage learners (who can range from bilingual students to students with minimal skills in the target language)?
  • How do visuals and props enhance student learning?
  • How do you incorporate cultural comparisons into a topic like daily routines?
  • How do you let students know what the planned activities and goals are for a lesson?

Watch the Video

 As you watch “Daily Routines,” take notes on Ms. Dyer’s instructional strategies, particularly how she scaffolds activities to achieve specific outcomes. 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:

  • What steps do students follow from the beginning to the end of the lesson? What new learning is achieved at each step?
  • How is culture integrated into the different activities? When is understanding culture the intended outcome, and when is it an underlying element?
  • What accommodations does Ms. Dyer make for heritage/native speakers?
  • Which activities involve learning set phrases? Which activities contain tasks with an information gap?

Look Closer

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

Video Segment: Setting the Stage Using TPR

You’ll find this segment approximately 5 minutes after the video starts. Watch for about 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

Ms. Dyer uses TPR and authentic materials to teach vocabulary related to daily routines.

  • How does Ms. Dyer organize classroom materials to prepare for comprehensible input?
  • During the first TPR step, what is Ms. Dyer’s role? What is the students’ role?
  • When do students begin actively participating in the activity? What is the benefit of waiting for active participation?

Video Segment: Sharing Information

You’ll find this segment approximately 13 minutes after the video starts. Watch for about 4 minutes.

In front of the class, student pairs identify daily activities shown in posters. They then work with their partners to practice vocabulary for the times associated with the tasks that make up their daily routines.

  • What is the students’ task at the poster stations? How do the clocks facilitate the task?
  • How does the A/B rotation work? What is the benefit of this technique?
  • What evidence do you see of interpersonal communication? What evidence do you see of students negotiating meaning with one another?

Video Segment: Comparing Cultures

You’ll find this segment approximately 21 minutes after the video starts. Watch for about 4 minutes and 30 seconds.

Students use charades to demonstrate daily activities of people living in Japan and in the U.S., while their classmates guess each activity and place a drawing of it on a Venn diagram.

  • How do students acquire background knowledge for the cultural activity?
  • How does Ms. Dyer help students make cultural comparisons that require language skills they don’t have yet?
  • What aspects of culture lend themselves to an experiential or physical approach?


Series Directory

Teaching Foreign Languages K-12: A Library of Classroom Practices


Produced by WGBH Educational Foundation with the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. 2003. 2016.
  • Closed Captioning
  • ISBN: 1-57680-731-2