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

German: Sports Stats Class Context

It’s very important to teach in the target language. I keep the class in German as much as possible. I’m expecting students to communicate in German, so why can’t I model correct behavior for them by communicating only in German?

– Amy Garcia


 

YEAR AT A GLANCE


Review

Geography

The world

The 16 German states

Classroom and School

Time and Daily Routines

Family

Friendship; Adjectives

Sports

Animals of the World

Fairy Tales


School Profile

Amy Garcia teaches grades preK-6 German at Brockett Elementary School in Tucker, Georgia. The school’s 470 students come from a diverse community; more than 70 percent of the students are minorities. Brockett is a pilot site for the High Achievers Program for qualified fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-graders throughout the community. The school offers German instruction at all grade levels. Students who study German as part of the High Achievers Program follow a FLES program and meet four days per week, while students in the regular curriculum study German about once per week in a FLEX program. Students in the FLES program receive traditional grades based on multiple assessments including tests, while FLEX program students are graded solely on participation.

Lesson Design

Ms. Garcia refers to the Standards and the DeKalb County Curriculum Guide to structure her curriculum (see Resources). She orders the units and designs individual lessons based on her students’ needs. “Each lesson is tailored to the class,” Ms. Garcia says. “It all depends on the group of students. And that comes from getting to know them and getting a feel for how quickly they can handle a new topic or a certain activity.” In each lesson, Ms. Garcia includes a review of the previous lesson, introduction to new information, and multiple practice activities. She then ties the lesson to the larger unit.

The Lesson

In the videotaped lesson, students shared their sports preferences. Although they had previously learned how to express their likes and dislikes, and knew the sports vocabulary, this review was the first time they combined the two into sports likes and dislikes. This was also students’ first experience applying their knowledge of numbers in German to the mathematical task of interpreting graphs. After this lesson, students continued to read Das Rad magazine, looking at other aspects of German youth culture and comparing them with aspects of their own culture.

Key Teaching Strategies

  • Facilitating Reading of Content-Related Materials: The teacher helps students understand texts, using prereading, skimming/scanning, and reading-for-meaning strategies.
  • Preparing for Communication: The teacher provides opportunities for students to express their ideas or feelings in the context of the language structure and/or content being learned.
  • Providing Corrective Feedback: In a process of negotiation, the teacher mediates student learning by verbally or nonverbally helping the student focus on a point of confusion around a language form.
  • Using Graphic Organizers: The teacher uses graphic organizers to record student responses and arrange the information from student report-outs.

Series Directory

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

Credits

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

Programs