•  Best Practices


    Teaching World Languages 

    Five Domains  




    Amount of target language used by both the teacher and the student(s)

    Amount of English used


    A wide variety of listening comprehension activities (i.e. lectures, classroom instruction, discussions, dialogues, games, classroom instructions, TPR storytelling, tapes, videos, Internet, software, etc.)

    English used as vehicle to provide/present communicative activities

    Use of pre-recorded language tools to introduce a variety of voices of the target language (i.e. tapes, CD’s, radio, TV, video, Internet, software, podcasts etc.)

    Use of teacher-centered listening activities

    Student-generated communicative activities (i.e. skits, dialogues, situational activities, videos, speeches, debates, individual recordings, recitations, games, etc.)

    Rote repetition

    Formatted question-response activities

    Teacher-centered classroom

    Introduction of target language within the community (i.e. field trips, guest speakers, travel abroad, telecommunication projects, plays, concerts, etc.)

    Isolated classroom environment

    Use of a variety of proficiency-based assessments with accompanying rubrics

    Subjective grading

    Limited methods of assessment

    Increased use of frequent proficiency-based listening assessments (podcasts)

    Limited opportunities to assess listening


    Use of computer technology to improve listening comprehension (software programs, interactive software, CD-ROM’s)

    Textbook materials as sole source

    Study of the cultural context in which the language is being spoken and the idiomatic use of language

    Language in isolation

    Listening as a means to obtain information or to comprehend feelings and opinions

    Emphasis on listening to obtain facts

    Listening activities as a means of practicing grammar and vocabulary

    Emphasis on writing to practice





    Use of target language in the classroom by both teacher and students

    Use of English in the classroom by both teacher and students

    Variety of speaking activities (i.e. discussions, dialogues, games, storytelling, debates, role-playing, interviews, scenarios, speeches, mini-lessons, interactive software, individual recordings, etc.)

    Speaking in a controlled format

    Frequency of opportunities for the students to speak the target language

    Teacher-centered classroom and use of English being spoken

    Strategies to encourage students to communicate in the target language

    Rote response activities

    Formatted response activities

    Correct pronunciation and intonation of the target language

    Acceptance of incorrect pronunciation and intonation

    Providing a cultural perspective to the spoken language and the community/communities in which it is spoken

    Treating the target language as “foreign”

    Comparisons of target language and English


    Ignoring the similarities and differences between the two languages

    Comparison of formal vs. idiomatic/conversational language

    Formal language as sole means of communication

    Use of a standardized rubric to improve speaking

    Subjective grading

    Speaking as a communicative skill

    Drill activities; memorized speech

    Providing opportunities for different levels of speaking activities: informal vs. formal, factual vs. expression of emotions or opinions

    Memorized speech




    Frequent introduction of reading in the target language into the classroom activities

    Use of reading solely as a supplementary activity

    Introduction of a variety of reading materials (i.e. culturally-centered material, newspapers, magazines, Internet, literature)

    Using the textbook as the sole source of reading material

    Variety of pre-reading activities to stimulate interest and comprehension (i.e. vocabulary study of new words, cognates, synonyms, antonyms; discussion of cultural context; visual prompts; questioning; author study; connections to personal experience(s)

    Assigning the material with no advance preparation to provide connections to pre-knowledge and experience.

    Variety of reading techniques (i.e. reading aloud, quiet reading, group processing, pre-recorded media)

    Exclusive use of a single technique

    Variety of culminating activities and/or assessments (i.e. group or class discussion, sequencing, connections to personal experience(s)- oral or written, story rewrites – story maps, projects, skits, vocabulary study, discussion of cultural connections, question/answer activity – oral or written, cloze activity, summaries – oral or written, etc.)

    Exclusive use of a single technique

    Importance of vocabulary study and learning in context; study and recognition of cognates

    Study of vocabulary as isolated words

    Importance of grammar/structure study in context

    Study of a grammar point in isolation

    Selection of reading topics to generate student interest

    Using publisher-provided materials solely







    Frequency of writing practice in the target language

    Writing as an supplemental  activity

    Variety of writing samples (i.e. journals, compositions, newspaper articles, emails, letters, stories, skits, dialogues, portfolios, etc.)

    Writing only in a controlled format (i.e. cloze activities or with highly structured prompts)

    Grammar used in context as a means to communicate effectively

    Study of a grammar point in isolation

    Use and study of transition words

    Writing as a cloze activity

    Good writing and organizational skills (i.e. mechanics of writing – accents and punctuation, outlining as pre-writing step)

    Writing as a cloze activity

    Use of a variety of directed writing activities (i.e. dictations, cloze activities, writing answers to questions, timed writing, grammar/vocabulary practice activity, etc.)

    Writing as a cloze activity

    Writing for communication and comprehensibility

    Correctness above comprehensibility

    Use of standardized rubric to improve writing

    Subjective grading

    Use of first drafts in the writing process to improve overall vocabulary, grammar, and style

    Writing without the opportunity to correct and learn

    Frequency of writing assessments

    Infrequent assessments

    Study of spelling patterns in the target language to facilitate correct writing

    Spelling as pure memorization

    Writing as a communicative skill

    Writing as a cloze activity

    Original writing as a means to practice new vocabulary and grammatical structures

    Writing as a cloze activity

    Use of technology to enhance writing – both as a developmental process and as a means to provide a variety of formats

    Writing as a cloze activity







    The importance of the connection between language and culture

    Isolated study of culture

    The study of the many locations where the target language is spoken throughout the world

    The study of a single country

    Opportunities to appreciate and experience the contexts in which the language occurs (i.e. field trips, food-tasting, videos, guest speakers, Internet, research projects, readings, study abroad opportunities)

    Use of limited sources to present culture study

    Role of authentic culture (i.e. opinions, attitudes, stereotypes, use of gestures, idiomatic language, etc.)

    Culture in isolation

    Comparisons of cultures to provide connections, contrasts, and understanding

    Isolated study of culture of target language without providing contrasts or comparisons

    Use of current events and history to provide connections to other disciplines

    Concentration on textbook as sole source of knowledge re culture

    The study of the practices and perspectives of the world culture

    Culture in isolation

    The study of the products of the world culture (i.e. art, music, food, clothing, etc.)

    Culture in isolation

    There is the formal study of Culture which includes the knowledge of the formal social, political, and economic institutions, the great figures of history, the products of literature, fine arts, as well as the sciences that are traditionally assigned to the French and "Francophone" culture.
    Then there is the study of the culture's "daily life" , its perspectives, its products and practices
    which include many aspects of daily living such as housing, clothing, food, transportation, media communication and all the various patterns of behavior inherent to the modern French and "Francophone" culture.
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