Teacher's Handbook

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Cengage Learning, Oct 19, 2009 - Education - 528 pages
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TEACHER'S HANDBOOK: CONTEXTUALIZED LANGUAGE INSTRUCTION, 4th Edition is designed for teacher training courses in college foreign language departments. It is ideal for Teaching Assistants and Graduate Student Instructors who are teaching lower-division language courses, and are required to take a methods course, or are education majors or students pursuing a teaching credential. The authors emphasize real-world practice by presenting a concise theoretical review followed by provocative case studies that illustrate contextualized methods for teaching ESL and foreign language for proficiency. Extensive appendices and a text-specific website with links to teacher resources and streaming video of standards-based instruction make it easy for your students to master the material.
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I am enjoying the book VERY much, especially the information on Lem Vygotsky.
However, I am concerned that the authors are SO anti-textbook. One should NOT be a slave to the text. The textbook should
be kept in the background and used as a resource. But to throw the textbook totally out of the window leads to several problems that I have observed.
Most modern language textbooks offer some themes and framework along with helpful ancillaries such as video, audio, exercise books, text/quiz generators, transparencies.
Through the years, I have observed teachers who go "anti-textbook." They are fine for the first quarter, but then burn out trying to do everything required. The quality of their work falls.
Seriously, look at the textbook you are using. Use the good parts and the good ancillaries..... skip over the bad parts. Teacher's Handbook will help you decide and discriminate. Supplement with authentic materials and additional things that you can bring in. That cuts your work load down by at least 50%. Plus you won't find yourself going off on tangents and having large gaps in your students' learning and progression.
I've noticed several teachers going the IPA route (Integrated Presentational Assessment). The IPA is a culminating activity. Unfortunately, I see many of these teachers trying to achieve the goals of the foreign IPA in the form of teaching around "projects" and managing the class entirely in English. It looks like a social studies class with a small foreign language component in it. (Kinda like vacation bible school teaching.)
It also reminds me of "dialog day," where kids get up in front of the class do a dialog or skit in the FL, then sit down. No engagement with the audience. Chances are, too, that the kids don't know what they are saying to each other. It's all memorization and props.
I see group and pair work done in English. I don't see the kids actually communicating with each other in the foreign language. I see a patchwork of isolated curriculum where the patches do not relate or build upon each other.
But... it is a great book and I'll be using it in my graduate methods course with my students preparing to become FL teachers. Just watch the anti-textbook bias of the authors.


Becoming Familiar with the Profession and Expectations for Language Teachers
Understanding the Role of Contextualized Input Output and Interaction in Language Learning
Contextualizing Language Instruction to Address Goals of the Standards for Foreign Language Learning
Organizing Content and Planning for Integrated Language Instruction
Connecting Language Learning to the Elementary School Curriculum
Integrating Cultures and Comparisons into Middle School Language Instruction
Using an Interactive Approach to Develop Interpretive Communication
Using a StoryBased Approach to Teach Grammar
Developing Oral and Written Interpersonal Communication
Developing Oral and Written Presentational Communication
Addressing Diverse Needs of Learners in the Language Classroom
Assessing StandardsBased Language Performance in Context
Using Technology to Contextualize and Integrate Language Instruction

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About the author (2009)

Judith L. Shrum earned her Ph. D. from The Ohio State University and an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. She is professor emerita at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, where she directed the Second Language Teacher Education program for 31 years until her retirement in 2012. She was awarded the ACTFL-NYSAFLT Anthony Papalia Award for Excellence in Teacher Education in 2008. Currently, she is the coordinator for ACTFL to the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

Eileen W. Glisan earned her Ph.D. in Applied Spanish Linguistics and Teaching Methodology from the University of Pittsburgh. She is Distinguished University Professor of Spanish and Foreign Language Education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she is coordinator of the Spanish Education K-12 Program. She is the recipient of various awards, including the 2008 Nelson H. Brooks Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Profession by the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. She is past president of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).

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