Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Teaching Foreign Languages K–12

A Library of Classroom Practices

Arabic: How We Spend Our Free Time
Connect to Your Teaching

Reflect on Your Practice

As you reflect on these questions, write down your responses or discuss them as a group.

  • What are some of the different approaches you can take in modeling a task?
  • How can you incorporate communication into beginning-level classes whose students may not have expansive vocabulary knowledge?
  • How can you help make these activities more interpersonal and authentic so that students feel like they have a reason to negotiate meaning?

Watch Other Videos

Watch other videos in the Teaching Foreign Languages K–12 library for more examples of teaching methodologies like those you've just seen. Note: All videos in this series are subtitled in English.

  • Hearing Authentic Voices (Spanish) shows students using all three modes of communication as they prepare for a conversation with native speakers about how they spend their free time.
  • Daily Routines (Japanese) shows students working together to practice vocabulary related to daily routines and making comparisons between two different cultures.
  • Making Plans (Arabic) shows students engaged in authentic conversations about what activities they will be doing in the future.

Put It Into Practice

Try these ideas in your classroom. Where it’s not already evident, reflect on how to adapt an idea that targets one performance range for application to other performance ranges.

  • For homework, have students make a photo story of how they spend their free time. Each student should take pictures that represent their favorite hobbies and activities and caption them in the target language. They could then present their photo stories to the class.

  • Ms. Quackenbush has students engage in cultural comparisons about how both Saudi Arabian and American students spend their free time. Identify communities of native speakers nearby that could connect with the students in your area and invite a member of the community to teach a microlesson about a popular hobby or activity in the target culture. Alternatively, plan a joint activity between your students and students of that community to engage in a hobby together. For example, have students play culturally appropriate card games together or a game of soccer. If you do not have access to communities of native speakers, take time to do a hands-on activity related to a popular hobby in your target culture so students can experience it for themselves.

  • Use Total Physical Response (TPR) to introduce the vocabulary for a unit on hobbies or free-time activities. Because many of these activities have clear movements associated with them, they are especially well suited to TPR. Once the movements are well established, you can use TPR Storytelling to make the target vocabulary come alive for your students. Lead your students interactively through the story-creation process, where you use movement and TPRS questioning techniques to actively engage them in the storytelling process. After the story, reinforce the vocabulary further by providing your students with recall activities. Finally, give the students a reading activity aligned with the story in class so the vocabulary can be listened to, acted out, spoken, and seen.

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