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World Language

Task 2: Instruction Commentary

TASK 2: INSTRUCTION COMMENTARY


Respond to the prompts below (no more than 6 single-spaced pages, including prompts) by typing your responses within the
brackets following each prompt. Do not delete or alter the prompts. Commentary pages exceeding the maximum will not be
scored. You may insert no more than 2 additional pages of supporting documentation at the end of this file. These pages
may include graphics, texts, or images that are not clearly visible in the video or a transcript for occasionally inaudible portions.
These pages do not count toward your page total.

1. Which lesson or lessons are shown in the video clip(s)? Identify the lesson(s) by lesson plan
number.
[ The lesson that is seen in the video clips is the second lesson plan provided. ]
2. Promoting a Positive Learning Environment
Refer to scenes in the video clip(s) where you provided a positive learning environment.
a. How did you demonstrate mutual respect for, rapport with, and responsiveness to
students with varied needs and backgrounds, and challenge students to engage in
learning?
[ During this lesson, I employ a variety of strategies to provide a positive learning environment
for my students. The first one, and possibly one of the most important ones, is remembering the
students names and actively using them. Having an identity and being acknowledged as an
individual is on Maslows hierarchy of needs, and is crucial to starting to develop an atmosphere
conducive to productive learning and mutual respect. At 00:20 in video clip #1 I call on a student
using their name, thus expressing that I care about them as an individual and respect them as a
learner. The tactic of repeating students names also starts to establish a relationship between
the student and teacher, another facet of a positive learning environment. Another way that a
positive environment is created is during 00:50 in video #1 when I circle around the classroom
and converse with the students. Keeping an active role in the classroom gives the students an
opportunity to ask questions in a smaller group setting and also gives them a chance to connect
with their teacher one on one.
During the activity occurring from 2:10-7:00 in video #2, students are encouraged to walk
around the classroom and interact with their peers, which is another way that a positive learning
environment was built during this lesson. As students start to make more friends in the class,
they become more comfortable during class time and then will be more willing to share their
questions or concerns in front of the class. Having the opportunity to converse and walk around
the classroom also suggests to the students that the course is fun, natural, and a place where
cooperative learning is utilized.
An instance where I show rapport with students is when I share with students about my
personal life in 5:00-6:30 in video #1. I talk about where I had lived, and asked them to recall my
first day of observing their class. In doing so, I am conversing with the class and encouraging
the sharing of our memories and lives. I show a responsiveness to students with varied needs
and backgrounds by providing differentiated instruction throughout the lesson. During the
activity that occurs during 00:00- 3:40, I have students volunteer to come up and try a food. This
gives students who are tactile learners the opportunity to feel and taste a food that is connected
to a vocabulary word. Then students write down adjectives that describe the word, a sentence
comparing the two foods, and lastly are given the option to share what they wrote in a verbal
form. This activity helps students read, write, speak, and interact with the material in a physical
and relevant way.
Another crucial way in which I demonstrate responsiveness to students with diverse learning
needs is when I provide examples and instructions both in written and verbal form. I put all of
my instructions on the projector screen (3:30 video #1) in order to make sure students
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World Language
Task 2: Instruction Commentary

understand the task in a way that best suits their needs. Providing an example solution to the
activity shows students what the quality of work I expect, and also gives students who might not
understand the instructions still an opportunity to see their target. ]
3. Engaging Students in Communication in the Target Language
Refer to examples from the video clip(s) in your responses to the prompts.
a. Explain how your instruction engaged students in developing communicative proficiency
in the target language in a meaningful cultural context with a focus on at least two
modes of communication:1

Interpretive AND
Interpersonal OR Presentational
[ During the lesson each activity included a section where students were required to develop
their communicative proficiency in the target language. During the activity involving the real
food, students used their interpretive mode of communication by having to interpret what food
their teammate had chosen, list three adjectives that corresponded to the food, and then
compare their food with that of the other teams. This portion of the activity helped students
interpret new information and construct a relevant sentence that would be used in class. By
having them share their sentences, their interpersonal communication was also developed in
the target language.
An activity that utilized their modes of communication in a cultural context was when
students were asked to think about what dish their family ate frequently (video #1 7:50). This
activity was done in order to help students make connections between their earning and their
own cultural norms. An activity that encouraged their communicative proficiency occurred at
2:10 in video #2, where students were required to walk around the classroom and try and guess
a selected secret food entirely in Spanish. This exercise in question asking is culturally relevant,
and also incorporates the interpretive and interpersonal modes of communication both for the
questioner and the answerer. ]
b. Describe how your instruction linked students prior academic learning and personal,
cultural, and community assets with new learning.
[ Prior to this lesson the class had been working on learning the meanings of new vocabulary
terms. Therefore, when considering this lesson I made sure to utilize their prior academic
learning to further their understanding and usage of the vocabulary. Because food is certainly a
personal topic, this lesson includes opportunities for the students to express their own
preferences and understanding of the food vocabulary. For example, in video #1 at 0:50-3:40
students are asked to give a comparison of two foods, inevitably also showing their preference
and opinion of said food. Students also connected their personal ideas about food with their
cultural understanding and usage of the vocabulary in the activity that occurred in video #1 at
8:00, where they connected new vocabulary with culturally familiar food items. ]
4. Deepening Student Communicative Proficiency in the Target Language during
Instruction
Refer to examples from the video clip(s) in your explanations.

The ACTFL World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages (2014) can be found at www.actfl.org/publications/all/world-

readiness-standards-learning-languages.

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World Language
Task 2: Instruction Commentary

a. Explain how you elicited and built upon student responses to promote thinking and
develop students communicative proficiency in the target language in meaningful
cultural context(s).
[ During the course of the week in which I taught my three lessons, the students participated in a
game in which the class was separated into two teams. Taking on silly food related names such
as los pollos and Papas fritas Video #1 4:00-40, the students could earn points for their team
by volunteering during activities (video #1 at 4:00, video #2 at 1:00-1:20) and using only
Spanish during specified exercises (Video #2 at 5:00-6:50). This strategy encouraged students
to participate in the activities and respond to prompts and questions, and promoted their
thinking about the subject. This activity was done in order to engage students in a way that
would keep their attention and interests.
Another tactic that I use in the lesson is when there are no volunteers, in which I select a
student who hasnt gotten an opportunity to speak and focus on a distinctive feature. I then say
to the class that whoever has the specified quality should share. In video #1 at 5:10 this tactic is
used successfully and engages the students to listen and be following along with the lesson
actively. The students communicative proficiency in the target language is developed by the fact
that in each activity there is an opportunity for student sharing and language usage both verbally
and in written form. In video #2 at 1:00 and in video #1 at 4:00 this is demonstrated. The usage
of teams in the classroom did aid in a class culture that was excited and engaged in the
material, however the activities done also gave the material a cultural significance for the
students. By using comparisons, students chose a dish their family eats often and compared it
with another students, writing three sentences down. In doing so, students engaged in an
exercise that has cultural significance, and encourages them to analyze and think critically
about different cultures. ]
b. Explain how you supported your students development of communicative proficiency in
the target language with respect to

language forms
language functions
meaningful cultural context(s)
[ A way in which I supported my students development of communicative proficiency in the
target language with respect to language forms was the use of the overhead projector. To
accompany my lesson, I made a Powerpoint presentation in which instructions were written both
in Spanish and English, and included examples of the exercises. This supported my students by
helping them understand more fully how to use the various language forms that we have been
working on (Video #2 at 3:30-3:55). Students got support in regards to the language functions
during the actual practice that was done during the activities. For example, in the activity
involving the bag of real food, students learned the function of comparing two foods by writing a
sentence and by thinking about the differences between the two (video # 1 from 00:00-3:40). ]
c. Explain how your instruction promotes comparisons between students personal,
cultural, or community assets and the cultural practices, products, and perspectives of
the target language.
[ Because Spanish is so widely spoken throughout many different countries and cultures, it
would be impossible to ascribe to the target language only one set of cultural practices,
products, or perspectives. Therefore, in this lesson the students were encouraged to think about
their own culture, and how it might be affected by others. In video #1 at 5:40-6:30, students are
asked what is culturally American in terms of food. After I shared food that was typical
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World Language
Task 2: Instruction Commentary

Northern Italian food, students were then prompted to think about what the food is like in their
personal family culture (video #1 at 7:50). Afterwards students compared their familys food with
that of another classmates, and wrote three differences between them. Although this isnt
incorporating a culture that speaks the target language, this activity could easily be converted in
order to promote and involve the comparison of the culture of the students and the selected
Spanish speaking culture. ]
5. Analyzing Teaching
Refer to examples from the video clip(s) in your responses to the prompts.
a. What changes would you make to your instructionfor the whole class and/or for
students who need greater support or challengeto better support student development
of communicative proficiency in the target language (e.g., missed opportunities)?
Consider the variety of learners in your class who may require different strategies/support
(such as students with IEPs or 504 plans, English language learners, readers who struggle in
their first language, students at varying levels of language proficiency, students who are
underperforming or those with gaps in academic knowledge, heritage-language speakers,
and/or gifted students).

[ One thing that quickly became apparent during the teaching of my lesson was that I had not
adequately thought about the students who are TAG or learn quicker than others. When doing
activities, I would realize that some of my students would finish the task faster than others and
be left waiting around for everyone else to catch up. Looking back, I should have thought of
ways in which I could have pushed them to deepen their understanding of the material and
challenge them. The same goes for the students who learned slower than the others: some of
the material and activities was more challenging for them, so providing them with clearer
instructions and examples would be beneficial as well. Another way in which I would change my
lesson would be to include a section where students compare their culture with a Spanish
speaking one. More specifically, students could watch a video or read about the food of another
culture that spoke Spanish, that way they would be exposed to another cultures practices in
relation to food, and could think critically about their own cultures foods. ]
b. Why do you think these changes would improve student development of communicative
proficiency in the target language? Support your explanation with evidence of student
learning and principles from Second Language Acquisition/Teaching theory and/or
research.
[ The changes that I would make for this lesson would improve student development of
communication proficiency in the target language because it would be more mindful of both
slower learners and faster learners. By ensuring that no one is left behind and no one is left
bored, the whole class can advance into learning and succeed. By giving students the
opportunity to study a culture that is Spanish speaking, the language learning that took place
could have been out into a better context and thus help students remember more effectively.
Not only would studying another culture provide cultural knowledge and growth, but it would be
in line with Krashens Affective Filter hypothesis within the theory of Second Language
Acquisition. If students are provided with an interesting atmosphere where their affective filter is
lowered, then more learning will take place and participation in the target language will be
present. By making the changes of adding more cultural activities in the target language and
providing students with more support, this lesson would have been more effective in improving
the students communicative proficiency in the target language. ]

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