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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 does focusing on the interpretive communication Standard change traditional reading or listening comprehension activities?
  • What is the role of literature in the courses that you teach? In the curriculum in your school?
  • What is the value of having students give oral presentations?

Watch the Video

As you watch “Interpreting Literature,” take notes on Ms. Pope Bennett’s instructional strategies, particularly how she leads students to interpret the story and how she integrates interpersonal and presentational communication into the activities. Write down what you find interesting, surprising, or especially important about the teaching and learning in this lesson.

Look Closer

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

Video Segment: Discussing the Story

You’ll find this segment approximately 5 minutes and 30 seconds after the video starts. Watch for about 4 minutes.

Ms. Pope Bennett and her students use visuals and text that describes Dos caras to stimulate a discussion about the story.

  • How do the visuals promote student participation?
  • How do the visuals promote language use?
  • What is the role of the teacher in this activity?
  • Analyze each student/teacher interaction in this segment. What linguistic or thinking (intellectual) task does Ms. Pope Bennett encourage after each initial student response?

Video Segment: Giving an Oral Report

You’ll find this segment approximately 17 minutes after the video starts. Watch for about 4 minutes.

A student gives an oral report about a local artist and presents her own original painting inspired by the artist’s style and the theme of Dos caras.

  • How is the oral report, a requirement of the IB program, linked to the literary subject?
  • Oral reports can build upon information gathered through interpretive and interpersonal communication. What evidence of this do you see in Tadina’s report?
  • Based on her formal presentation, what do you observe about Tadina’s language skills/proficiency? About her knowledge of the topic?
  • What additional information does Ms. Pope Bennett gain in the subsequent Q & A session?
  • How does Tadina’s use of the language change between the formal presentation and the interpersonal follow-up?
  • What evidence do the students provide to show that they understand the presentation given by Tadina, a heritage speaker?

Video Segment: Brainstorming Alternate Story Endings

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

Student groups create their own endings to Dos caras, then share them with the class.

  • What purpose is served by this group activity?
  • What does the creation of alternate endings show about how students interpreted the text?
  • What do you observe about the student interactions? When does negotiation of meaning take place?
  • How does the first group present the new ending? How does the second group do it?
  • What kind of feedback does Ms. Pope Bennett provide?

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