Teaching Foreign Languages K-12: Workshop
View & Analyze The Video
In “Meaningful Interpretation,” Professor Virginia Scott of Vanderbilt University addresses the value of teaching interpretive communication skills. Professor Scott also joins a round-table discussion on effective approaches to teaching interpretation skills, moderated by University of Pittsburgh professor Richard Donato, and including teachers Lauri Dabbieri of Fairfax, Virginia, and Michel Pasquier of New Hyde Park, New York. The video also features excerpts from Ms. Dabbieri’s and Mr. Pasquier’s classes, as well as other classes across different grade levels and languages.* The video addresses the following questions:
- What is text?
- What is interpretation?
- At what level can interpretation begin?
- Can there be multiple interpretations?
- How is the interpretive mode assessed?
*The classroom excerpts featured in this video are from the Teaching Foreign Languages K-12 video library. To learn more about the featured lessons, go to the Library Videos Chart.
Watch the Video
- How did Mr. Pasquier structure the assessment of his lesson? What advantages do you see of the assessment strategy used by Nancy Gadbois, namely, providing students with rubrics? What additional approaches do you use when assessing students on interpretive tasks?
- How does Professor Scott address the concern regarding lack of accuracy in an interpretive activity? What kinds of limitations might you need to impose during interpretive tasks, and when would you refrain from inhibiting students’ ideas?
- Professor Donato comments that students need to move beyond factual recall toward linking facts from texts with personal experiences. Why do you think it’s important to encourage students to relate texts to personal experiences? Why is it also important to encourage students to use textual evidence to justify their opinions?
1.1 Before you Watch
To begin this workshop session, you will tap your prior knowledge and experience and then read current research on interpretive communication.
Overview 0 Overview
This six-minute video introduces you to the Teaching Foreign Languages K-12 Workshop series and provides you with a virtual tour of the Web guide. Watch the video to familiarize yourself with what you will be doing as a participant in the workshop, or to launch a study group using the workshop.
workshop 1 Meaningful Interpretation
This session looks at how the interpretation of texts (including documents, paintings, movies, audio recordings, and more) can go beyond literal comprehension and tap into students' background knowledge while fostering critical-thinking skills.
workshop 2 Person to Person
Focusing on interpersonal communication, session participants discuss how students use language to make themselves understood and to understand others. The session also explores how different teaching approaches encourage or discourage meaningful student interaction.
workshop 3 Delivering the Message
Looking at the presentational mode of communication, this session shows how students and teachers consider a variety of audiences as they create and deliver written presentations.
workshop 4 Subjects Matter
Foreign language teachers promote language learning within the context of other curriculum areas, such as geography, science, and language arts. A look at the research helps teachers address the balance between grammatical form and content in the language classroom.
workshop 5 Rooted in Culture
This session looks at the ways teachers can investigate cultural products and practices with their students and how this will help the students develop a deeper sense of the cultural perspective.
workshop 6 Valuing Diversity in Learners
Students come to the language classroom with a range of literacy and language skills, as well as varying cultural backgrounds and experiences. This session looks at how teachers can help students individually progress, as well as use students' unique skills to contribute to the growth of the class as a whole.
workshop 7 Planning for Assessment
Assessment can be embedded in relevant, meaningful, and authentic performance tasks throughout the year, as well as in culminating activities. The session also addresses the value of ongoing feedback to learners.