Teaching Foreign Languages K-12: Workshop
View & Analyze the Video
In “Valuing Diversity in Learners,” Professor Marjorie Hall Haley of George Mason University in Virginia talks about ways of addressing multiple learning styles and levels in a standards-based foreign language classroom. Professor Haley also joins a round-table discussion on effective instructional practices for diverse learners and methods for connecting research to practice. The discussion is moderated by University of Pittsburgh professor Richard Donato, and includes teachers Debra Terry of Springfield, Massachusetts, and Barbara Pope Bennett of Washington, D.C. The video also features excerpts from Ms. Terry’s and Ms. Bennett’s classes, as well as other classes across different grade levels and languages.* The video addresses the following questions:
- How do you define diversity in learners?
- What instructional strategies work for diverse learners?
- How do teachers connect research and theory to practice?
*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
1. How do you define diversity in learners?
- Surveys and classroom observations were mentioned as techniques for learning about students. What other strategies might a teacher use to learn about students’ backgrounds and learning preferences?
- In what ways did Ms. Terry use the Spanish heritage of her students to help them learn French? What additional approaches might a teacher use to help students whose heritage language is not the target language?
2. What instructional strategies work for diverse learners?
- What strategies do you observe Jane Shuffelton using with the different levels of learners in her Russian classroom? What strategies do you observe Haiyan Fu using with her Chinese language students?
- What role can grouping play in a classroom of learners with diverse skills and/or learning approaches?
- What strategies did the teachers in the classroom excerpts use to create a positive learning environment for both the heritage and English language students in their classes?
- How can teachers help students to value the diversity of their classmates, particularly when the students’ skills or learning styles set them apart from one another? How can teachers provide for students whose skills or learning styles are different from their own, while acknowledging the validity of other learning styles?
3. How do teachers connect research and theory to practice?
- How do the teachers’ practices in the excerpted classes reflect an understanding of Second Language Acquisition (SLA) theories?
- What are some benefits of conducting action research projects? Describe potential benefits to the teacher, students, and school. What might be the challenges?
6.1 Before you Watch
To begin this workshop session, you will tap your prior knowledge and experience and then read current research on working with diverse learners.
PDF : "Understanding Learner-Centered Instruction From the Perspective of Multiple Intelligences"
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.