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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:

  • Which aspects of the Communication standards would apply to both classical and modern language instruction?
  • What kinds of authentic materials are available to teachers of classical languages?
  • What activities might extend a classical language class beyond traditional text analysis?


Watch the Video

As you watch “Music and Manuscripts,” take notes on Ms. Dabbieri’s instructional strategies, particularly how she integrates different activities in the study of Latin. 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 are three levels of Latin instruction blended in this lesson?
  • How does Ms. Dabbieri incorporate interdisciplinary topics into the study of Latin? How does she use interdisciplinary content to promote higher order thinking skills?
  • How does Ms. Dabbieri incorporate the use of media into her lesson?
  • How does Ms. Dabbieri distinguish between interpretation and translation? How would a teacher of a modern language define interpretation as a communication goal?

Look Closer

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

Video Segment: Collaborative Text Analysis

You’ll find this segment approximately 9 minutes after the video starts. Watch for about 5 minutes and 30 seconds.

Working in groups, students respond to questions about passages they have read for homework.

  • The activity evolves from the homework reading assignment. What are the different steps of the activity, and how does one step lead to the next?
  • How is color coding used to help students read the passages?
  • During the group work, how do students build on one another’s responses? How do they solve problems?
  • How does Ms. Dabbieri facilitate interactions between students? How does she address incorrect responses?
  • The students speak English during group work. Do you think it affects their learning? How would this activity be different in a modern language class?

Video Segment: Cultural Simulation

You’ll find this segment approximately 16 minutes after the video starts. Watch for about 5 minutes.

Ms. Dabbieri introduces students to manuscript creation. Then students design and create their own manuscripts.

  • The Latin manuscript is a cultural product. What related products do students learn about?
  • What practices associated with manuscript creation do students learn about? How does the activity provide experience with these practices?
  • What medieval perspectives or attitudes toward Latin texts are explored in this lesson?
  • How do various groups create their manuscripts? What kinds of interactions do students within each group have?

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