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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:

  • What instructional advantages does the literary genre of folktales offer?
  • What are the benefits of teaching about a variety of cultures in which the target language is spoken?
  • What makes technology central to instruction rather than peripheral to it?

Watch the Video

As you watch “A Cajun Folktale and Zydeco,” take notes on Ms. Granville’s instructional strategies, particularly how she groups students for activities and integrates technology into her lesson. 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. Granville balance full-class, group, and partner work?
  • What routines has Ms. Granville established for a smooth transition from group work to whole-class discussions?
  • What products and practices of Cajun culture are integrated into the lesson? How does Ms. Granville lead students to think about the cultural perspectives?
  • How does playing zydeco instruments contribute to students’ understanding of the music?
  • What student habits are promoted through Ms. Granville’s closing routine?
  • How does Ms. Granville assess students during the lesson? Why is this important to do? (For a sample interpersonal assessment from Ms. Granville’s class, see Assessment Strategies.)

Look Closer

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

Video Segment: Telling the Story

You’ll find this segment approximately 9 minutes and 30 seconds after the video starts. Watch for about 4 minutes and 30 seconds.

After some preparatory activities, Ms. Granville tells the students a Cajun folktale.

  • What story elements does Ms. Granville establish through her retelling? What language elements (vocabulary or grammar) does she establish?
  • What tools and strategies does Ms. Granville use to make the story comprehensible?
  • What enables Ms. Granville to use words such as tubercule and mangeable and maintain student comprehension?
  • How does Ms. Granville verify that students are following the story?


Video Segment: Mapping the Story

You’ll find this segment approximately 16 minutes and 30 seconds after the video starts. Watch for about 4 minutes.

In groups of six, students organize the story’s main elements and vocabulary on a story map, then share their work in a class discussion.

  • How does the story map lead to interpretive communication?
  • How does the story map help students develop written language?
  • How does Ms. Granville focus on a grammatical concept without detracting from the story?
  • What observations can you make about student interactions during group work? About Ms. Granville’s interactions with students during the full-class discussion?

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