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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 are some of the most significant works of art in your target culture(s)?
  • What strategies help students derive meaning from an informational text?
  • What strategies help students develop their own understanding of a cultural product?
  • How do you present abstract cultural topics to learners with limited language proficiency?

Watch the Video

As you watch “Interpreting Picasso’s Guernica,” take notes on Ms. Zingle’s instructional strategies, particularly how she has organized the lesson and which kinds of materials she uses. 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 the graphic organizer assist students in creating the radio announcement? What evidence supports its effectiveness?
  • How does Ms. Zingle enhance a typical textbook reading? What other ways might one use a textbook reading?
  • How does Ms. Zingle scaffold the lesson so that each succeeding step leads to the culminating activity?

Look Closer

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

Video Segment: Interpreting the Painting

You’ll find this segment approximately 3 minutes after the video starts. Watch for about 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

Students generate a list of vocabulary words that describe what they see in the painting.

  • What is the purpose of having students write down vocabulary based on the images in the painting?
  • What does Ms. Zingle do with the vocabulary that students generate? How does she handle errors?
  • Describe the graphic organizer students use when combining their lists. Is it effective?

Video Segment: Working in Pairs

You’ll find this segment approximately 8 minutes after the video starts. Watch for about 5 minutes.

Working in pairs, students use a graphic organizer to help them invent a story inspired by the painting, and then write a radio announcement about their story.

  • How do students interact? What evidence do you see of their negotiating meaning? What evidence do you see of their working to develop language accuracy?
  • How does Ms. Zingle facilitate student work?
  • How do the students move from using the graphic organizer to writing their radio announcements?

Video Segment: Interpreting a Cultural Reading

You’ll find this segment approximately 18 minutes and 30 seconds after the video starts. Watch for about 4 minutes.

Students read a textbook selection about Guernica and discuss the painting’s intended meaning.

  • How does Ms. Zingle help students derive a more culturally accurate interpretation of Guernica compared to their initial interpretations?
  • How does the earlier task of interpreting the painting serve as a prereading activity for the textbook selection?
  • What kinds of skimming/scanning activities does Ms. Zingle use?
  • How is the graphic organizer reused? What effect does it 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