The advertisement to the left is amusing, but there is a greater significance to the commercial than clever marketing. There is an increased emphasis on learning languages other than English in U.S. schools today. Beginning in 2016, students will need to take two years of a language other than English (or demonstrate proficiency) in order to graduate from high school in the State of Michigan. Other schools around the country are following suit with World Language requirements. Most colleges and universities require students to study a language other than English, as well. In the background of this state/national goal and in addition to the "vocational-occupational" orientation, World Language Education is involved more than ever in the "humanistic-intellectual principals" as the world continues to shrink and the pluralistic society continues to grow (Lo Bianco, 2001). With greater demand for language skills and global citizenship what role does technology play in the teaching of world languages and its culture? How does TPACK enhance the learning process? Hopefully this wiki page helps find answers to these questions. This page examines various approaches to World Languages TPACK by providing samples and ideas, discussing on the impact of CALL, and analyzing TPACK components in actual technology integrated lessons. Explore the content by simply scrolling down or choosing topics in the menu above.

Approaches to TPACK

Foundation of TPACK in World Langauges
According to Olphen, the foundation of world language TPACK requires five points, each of which derives from the teacher’s C, P & T knowledge. To visualize the relationship with TPACK, an appropriate TPACK component is added to each items in the list. I indicated my understanding of each of the components of TPACK. As you see some elements of the Olphen’s list (AACTE, 2008, p.117) overlap, which is a good example how knowledge within TPACK interweaves.
  • TCK - Understanding how linguistic & cultural concepts can be represented using technology.
  • PCK - Understanding socio-constructivist approaches to language and cultural competence and being aware of students’ previous knowledge and understanding SLA and cognitive development theories.
  • TPK - Being aware of what facilitates and hinders SLA (second language acquisition) and how technology can “revamp common problems” students face during the process.
  • TPACK - Understanding how current and emerging technologies can advance present knowledge, develop new epistemologies (theories of knowledge: what is knowledge, etc) and sustain previous knowledge.

Diverse Approaches
How can World Language teachers start TPACK? What steps are necessary? As every individual teacher has a different teaching style and different needs, the approach to TPACK should be different within diverse contexts. For example, Teacher A may start thinking about technology integration from his/her need to improve the way to present a specific content/topic; Teacher B may want to integrate a digital tool s/he is familiar in teaching. In the first case, the approach is being made starting from the teacher's content knowledge. The second starts from technology knowledge.

Interaction of Knowledge
One of the most important aspects for World Language educators in approaching TPACK is to know how knowledge bases interact. Although all the three knowledge bases play equally important roles in TPACK development, the teacher's technology knowledge will become an essential part at some point in any approach. Below is a chart that summarizes knowledge interaction within different TPACK approaches. In each sample approaches, one knowledge base is omitted intentionally because again every teacher's context varies. Hopefully, actual samples of TPACK unit in the final section of this page will provide the entire flow of knowledge interaction.

Sample Approach 1: Starting from Pedagogy

Pedagogical Knowledge
Technological Knowledge
Technological Pedagogical Knowledge
Role Play
Role-Playing or Skit Playing is an activity in which students "dramatize characters" or pretend to be in actual environment.(Teaching Foreign Language K-12 ) However, there are some students who tend to shy away from speaking or expressing themselves in class. I need to find a way to provide a comfortable and less stressful environment for students.
VoiceThread allows a user to attach his/her comments to an image or video by recoding voice and typing. For typing, it does not take certain languages yet.
The teacher’s voice thread can include comments from one whole class in one page or can have just one student in one page. Its recording function is similar to a simple audio device so that even young students may be able to operate by themselves. Students can repeat recording in voice thread, which provides a less stressful environment to the role playing that requires speaking the target language. In addition, students are able to repeatedly listen to their performances, which is not possible in the in-class live performance, and which reinforces the experience from their role playing. It also motivates students. Voice Thread may be blocked in some schools.

This TPK can be stored for future use and/or can be developed into TPACK with an interaction with a specific content (C).
Flipped Classroom
The Flipped World language classroom is an activity/approach that allows for the teacher-dependent/centered classroom to become a differentiated technological environment that provides the teacher with the tools to meet the diverse needs of the current student population. This specific framework allows for the student to develop habits of mind and positive dispositions towards learning (p.14).
Brain Pop

Flipped Classroom Resources

ASL Classifiers
A Flipped classroom can be implemented through a variety of technological mechanisms and as a result, students can immerse themselves in the instruction, engage in problem-solving learning activities using intrinsic motivators, and in the end, they are learning at their pace.
A Flipped Classroom allows for teachers to reject "functional fixedness and develop skills to look beyond the immediate technology and reconfigure it for their own pedagogical purposes" (p. 17). Flipped classrooms offer opportunities for real time feedback, self-paced learning, and flipping the paradigm (Research on Flipped Classrooms). Some of the programs that can be used such as YouTube, may be blocked in some schools. This allows for students to repeat the material at their discretion.

Sample Approach 2: Starting from Content

Content Knowledge
Technological Knowledge(TK)
Technological Content Knowledge
Geographical Characteristics of the Country of the Target Language
Learners are expected to identify geographical characteristics of the country of the target language that includes major rivers, mountains, capital cities, and regional climates. I don't have working pedagogy for this content and need some technology to enhance the delivery of this content.
Google Earth
Google Earth is a free tool that offers the user to see satellite imagery, maps, or 3D images with a relatively easy operation. It also provides detailed information on a specific region or country.
Internet resources provides information on the country that is not otherwise easy to obtain. Google Earth enables the learner see any places or regions virtually without physically visiting the country. It also provides historical images of the selected places.

By applying this TCK, a new pedagogy such as "Google Earth Japan" and "Google Major Cities in Japan" may be developed, which with meaningful interaction with other components becomes TPK for a TPACK.

Sample Approach 3: Starting from Technology

Technological Knowledge
Pedagogical Knowledge
Technological Pedagogical Knowledge
Email enables the users exchange messages with other users in anywhere in the world. The text can be typed in the target language. It is not synchronous but is faster and cheaper (no cost) than traditional mail. I can use this technology for my World Language class.
Pen Pal
Pen Pal activity provides World Language learners a asynchronous non-threatening environment to practice their target languages in writing. The traditional method costs postage and long time to get responses.
Email enables the learners exchange messages with native speakers in the country of the target language. It provides asynchronous but non-threatening learning environment for the learners. The mail exchange using Email is cost and time effective.

This TPK can be stored for future use and/or can be developed into TPACK with an interaction with a specific content (C).

What is CALL?

CALL refers to "Computer-Assisted Language Learning." Technology used in CALL includes but not limited to language learning software, telecommunication system, Internet, and other digital technologies. CALL is having a tremendous impact on the way World Languages are being taught and learned. Technology is providing avenues for learning that were not available in the past. For example, Internet provides access to authentic materials, virtual tours to places that are physically far away, and opportunities to chat, video-conference, e-mail, and blog give students a chance to interact with people in the target language in direct and meaningful ways (AACTE, 2008). Sites such as FL Teach (Foreign Language Teaching Forum) and CALL on the Web have numerous links to resources for educators to use for (CALL) in the classroom to help meet curriculum standards and to reinforce best practices. CALL is especially helpful in teaching aspects of World Language such as reading that differ in first and second language acquisition processes. Multi-media technologies and hypertext applications are especially successful in these subject areas. CALL is also useful for vocabulary acquisition and retention. The main advantage of many computer-assisted programs is that they are available 24 hours a day. Students can access resources whenever they are ready to work.
image for CALL from
image for CALL from

ICT and World Languages

Considering ICT alone, CALL has changed the way teachers teach and the way students learn. ICT can have a broader meaning depending on context, however, in this wiki page it refers to the technology that assists CALL. As ICT becomes part of a knowledge base (TK), teachers come to realize it is imperative to change their teaching practices "as a result of the use of ICT" (AACTE, p. 120). The change in practice also brings a change in learning. For example, when a teacher decide to use email, s/he modifies the way to present content as well as the way the students learn by providing an essential media to assist students' writing and providing " in a low-anxiety" asynchronous environment( p. 115). Researchers have found such asynchronous telecommunication helps to "advance students' writing skills" (p. 115). Other emerging ICT may come up to great expectations in improving not only writing but also speaking and reading skills. The graphic to the right indicates how ICT can support language learning by assisting teachers in the foundation of TPACK in World Languages regarding linguistic & cultural concepts, socio-constructivist approaches to language and cultural competence, and advancement & sustenance of present knowledge.

This site offers numerous technology integration ideas specialized in World Language Education.
A very informative site for K-12 teachers to find lesson ideas and articles about technology integration.

Free Technology For Teachers site
This site offers reviews for free technology resources and ideas for integration in educational settings. site
Tons of free tools for teachers to create lesson materials.

FL Teach (Foreign Language Teaching Forum)
CALL on the Web

This site offers information for teachers of numerous World Languages, as well as resources for teachers
of English as a Second Language (ESL).
This website lists resources ranging from articles and websites to software. It even lists specialists and their websites who are available
to give additional assistance.

Technology Tools

A free wiki technology used to create this EDT514 TPACK Wiki. You can type text as you use a word processor, insert pictures and files (even audio files), embed widgets, etc. It can be used to create original teaching materials such as WebQuest and group project pages.

There are many possibilities in its application in World Languages education. It can upload photos, graphics, and video as a visual component, and it can audio record voices of numerous personalities. In addition, it now supports Asian Languages in type in text!

A strictly educational email system. It offers a monitored and filtered safe email environment that can be used to connect students around the world. There are many tools such as classroom match to look and find a classroom with a same interest or project.

This is a free text-to-speech site. It supports only English languages for now. There are other free sites similar to this one that support World Langauges.


Podcasting offers a great opportunity for students to improve their skills in
World Languages. The link provides about 50 podcasting sites for learning a world language. There are many programs available such as Audacity that schools can download for free. Students can also download this program for personal use at no charge. Programs such as G-Cast allow students to publish their works for free.

(Here are two examples of podcasts that can be used in the classroom for teaching purposes. I made "Ms. G's Go Verb Rap" as simple jingle to help students remember verbs. Students could make similar recordings to learn a number of topics in the target language. I made the second, "El Principito" as a more complicated example of what students can produce. It combines reading in the target language with mood music and sound-effects to demonstrate understanding and interpretation of the material. (Click here to hear them.)

This site offers a free online practice for English Language learners. The user watches a selected video and practice speaking along with the native speaker. It uses a speech recognition technology and scores the user's performance each time of practice.

Google Drive including Google Document & Presentation

Google Drive allows students to collaborate learning online with classmates and teachers. Google Document enables students to co-edit a written assignment at home and allows the teacher to provide immediate feedback with track changes. Google Presentation allows students to present learning using multimedia technology.


Voki is a free service that allow users to create customized avatars. Students can add voice to their Voki avatars by recording in the target language or type the script in the target language. Students can post their Vokis to their blogs, class website, or social media sites.

Other Technology Tools

Just keep your mind open. Any tools that have seemingly no relevance to World Languages teaching and learning can be a useful tool. Koehler and Mishra explain, "Functional fixedness often stands in the way of creative uses of technologies"(AACTE Committee on Innovation and Technology, 2008, p.6) Think about how digital cameras, iPods , or a GPS systems could enhance the way you teach World Languages.
Additional Activities with Technology
If you need any inspiration as to what technology to incorporate, then this document can help. It gives a long list of technologies that can be used for different lessons depending on the focus skill; listening, speaking, writing, reading or viewing.

Opening our Ears to the Deaf: This is one example of a TED Talk, which is an invaluable resource the teachers can use to provide a unique perspective of someone who is a native user of the target language.
Signing Savvy: Is a fee-based service that has a vast array of tools that you can customize to design tests, vocabulary lists, teach culture, and allow the students to learn at their own pace.


PowToon is a free web-based tool that teachers and students can use to create animated cartoons. The tool allows users to create a cartoon using a template or from scratch with their wide variety of characters and features. In addition, users can include both text and audio in their cartoons. Therefore, students can practice their writing and speaking in the target language. Check out a Spanish example by clicking here.



The application of TPACK varies according to the learning objectives of the lesson. The integration of technology should serve as a bridge between Content Knowledge and Pedagogical Knowledge for the purpose of maximizing student achievement (AACTE, 2008, p. 113). Technology can present opportunities that were not available to teachers and students in the past. Technology allows for the teacher to meet the students at their present level of performance, in an effort to bring them towards where you would like them to be, in regards to the content.

The American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and the National Council for Teacher Accreditation (NCATE) have collaborated to produce Program Standards for the Preparation of Foreign Language Teachers. The program centers around six (6) content standards: 1) language linguistics, comparison; 2) cultures, literatures, cross-disciplinary concepts; 3) language acquisition theories and instructional practices; 4) integration of standards into curriculum instruction; 5) assessment of languages and cultures; and 6) professionalism (AACTE, 2008, p. 108). It is these standards that are evaluated within the TPACK framework. The resources that teachers use will affect not only the level of technology used in the classroom but the actual content knowledge itself and the pedagogical framework in which it is taught.

"Teaching and learning languages through CALL is an ever-evolving process that is intertwined with CK, PCK, and TCK. Within Mishra and Koehler's (2006) framework a change in one of the components generates a change in the others. These changes occur as compensatory mechanisms to maintain the dynamic equilibrium (AACTE, 2008, p. 117). As new technology is made available, teachers need to adjust their pedagogy to accommodate new opportunities for expanding and sharing Content Knowledge. Although extra preparation may be required by educators, the benefits to the students are immense. There are many resources available to teachers that open new ways to improve student achievement. It has never been a better time to be a teacher of World Languages.

Sample TPACK Units and Lesson Plans
These sample TPACK units and lesson plans have been developed using the TPACK approach. Please review how each of the individual TPACK components are analyzed in each case. Use these lessons as examples to assist in the creation of additional TPACK lessons in the World Language classroom. In addition to using these examples, it may be helpful to view a tutorial that may assist in the creation of TPACK lessons.

Unit Title: Experience Hinamatsuri (Japanese Doll Festival)!
Grade Level: 5th grade or higher
Subject Area: Japanese Language and Culture
Click on the link below to view MS format for the unit lessons

Unit Title: Virtual Trip to Spain
Grade Level: Spanish II (10th grade)
Subject Area: Spanish Language and Culture
Click on the link below to view MS format for the unit lessons

Unit Title: Hobbies
Grade Level: 7th & 8th Grade
Subject Area: Level 1 World Language including Chinese Mandarin, Spanish, and ASL(American Sign Language)

Unit Title: School Life
Grade Level: 7th and 8th Grade
Subject Area: Level 1 World Languages Including Chinese Mandarin, Spanish, and ASL (American Sign Language)

Lesson Plan: School Life in Spain
Grade Level: 9th - 12th grade
Subject Area: Level 1 Spanish

Lesson Plan: Shopping at El Corte Ingles
Grade Level: 9th - 12th
Subject Area: Level 1 or Level 2 Spanish


AACTE Committee on Innovation and Technology, (Ed). (2008). Handbook of Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK) for Educators. New York: Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group for the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

Lo Bianco, J. (2001). Talking Globally: Challenges for Foreign-Language Education from New Citizenship and Economic Globalisation. Forum for Modern Language Studies, 37(4), 456. Retrieved November 12, 2008, from Research Library database. (Document ID: 373555691).

Back to TPACK within Content Areas page