Study Guide

Field 121: French CST
Pedagogical Content Knowledge

Review the character selector tutorial video and the special character palette available for the French CST:

French special character options

Directions for Pedagogical Content Knowledge Assignment

For the Pedagogical Content Knowledge section of the test, you will write a response of approximately 400–600 words in English to an assignment.

Read the assignment carefully before you begin to write. Think about how you will organize your response. You should use your time to plan, write, review, and edit your response to the assignment. Your final response must be typed in the on-screen response box presented with the assignment.

Please note that special characters (such as letters with accents or other diacritical marks) cannot be entered using the keyboard, but are available for insertion in the on-screen response box. To access these characters, click on the ash symbol button that appears in the upper left corner of the screen. Using the mouse, double-click on the character you wish to include in your response, or click on the character and then select "Insert." The character will be inserted where the cursor is positioned in the response box.

Your response will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

Your response will be evaluated on the criteria above, not writing ability. However, your response must be communicated clearly enough to permit valid judgment of your knowledge and skills. Your response must be your original work, written in your own words, and not copied or paraphrased from some other work.

Be sure to write about the assigned topic. Remember to review what you have written to ensure that you address all aspects of the assignment and make any changes you think will improve your response.

Select the Next button to continue.

Sample Pedagogical Content Knowledge Assignment

Competency 0005
Pedagogical Content Knowledge

Use the information below and the exhibit provided to complete the assignment that follows.

You are planning instruction for a French language class. Your instruction includes a specific learning goal aligned to the following New York State Learning Standard for Languages Other Than English.

Standard 1:  Students will be able to use a language other than English for communication.

You will use the exhibit provided as part of your instruction. To view the exhibit, click the "Exhibit" button on the right above the response box.

Using your knowledge of French and your pedagogical knowledge related to teaching modern languages, write a response in English of approximately 400–600 words in which you:

[The examinee will see the Exhibit button on screen: exhibit button]

To view the exhibit, the examinee will click the Exhibit button. The pop-up window can then be resized and/or repositioned on the screen so that the examinee can access the information while completing their response.


French Pharmacy Advertisement
Stockbyte. Curling iron and hair dryer. Collection: Stockbyte. Getty Images.
Floortje. Bath: Soap. Collection: E+. Getty Images.
Floortje. Bath: Comb and Hairbrush. Collection: E+. Getty Images.
Floortje. Bath: Toothbrushes and Toothpaste. Collection: E+. Getty Images.
Floortje. Bath: Shaving Equipment. Collection: E+. Getty Images.
Morten Olsen. Towels. Collection: E+. Getty Images.
pagadesign. Drug store. Collection: E+. Getty Images.
WEKWEK. Cosmetics on white background. Collection: E+. Getty Images.

Sample Strong Response to Pedagogical Content Knowledge Assignment

I will use the exhibit in a middle school French class at Checkpoint A to introduce new vocabulary used for personal hygiene and grooming. Students will be able to speak and write about daily routines for washing using the idiomatic expression "je fais ma toilette" and the reflexive verb "je me lave". This goal aligns with using communication skills in French for the purpose of socializing and providing information.

Three volunteers will come to the front of the classroom. Working with three new items at a time, I will show real versions of objects from the exhibit to the students at the front and to the class while naming the French words for each. Students at the front will repeat each word, and then identify the three objects as I hold them up in varied order. After presenting all the objects, I will hold up one and say, "C'est un/une/du _________" while I hand an object to one student at the front. The student will repeat, "C'est un/une/du ________" and then hand the object to another student while saying, "C'est un/une/du________" so that each student holds each object and names it twice. Students at the front of the room will hold up their objects and I will ask the class what each object is for choral responses.

I will display the French nouns for the new objects on the Smart Board, and students will copy the list. The homework assignment will include a written vocabulary exercise with the same words presented in class and a link to online flashcards with audio.

The next day, I will give each student a paper copy of the exhibit which includes all of the new vocabulary. In pairs, students will highlight vocabulary and cognates that they recognize. To share results, I will project the exhibit and highlight words as volunteers say the words they found. I am sure there will be questions about the French word "toilette". We will discuss the French idiomatic expression "faire sa toilette" and practice using a simple question/answer (Qu'est-ce que tu fais ? Je fais ma toilette.)

Then I will activate previous knowledge such as names of body parts by asking, for example, "Pour faire sa toilette, qu'est-ce qu'on emploie sur la tête ? dans la bouche ? sur les mains ?" Using a kinesthetic strategy, I will then have students point to the appropriate body part as I hold up a grooming tool or, in reverse, pick up an appropriate tool as I name a body part. At this point I will incorporate the reflexive verb "je me lave". "Je fais ma toilette. J'ai du shampooing et du savon [holding the objects]. Le shampooing est pour la tête, c'est pour les cheveux. Je me lave les cheveux, non ? [act out washing hair]. Avec le shampooing, je me lave les cheveux [class repeats]. Avec le savon [hold it up], je me lave les mains [class repeats]. Qu'est-ce que tu fais avec le savon ? Et avec le shampooing ? Classe, montrez-moi, je me lave les mains [students act out handwashing] et je me lave les cheveux [students act out washing their hair]."

To assess whether students are learning the new vocabulary, I will distribute a worksheet with images of the new vocabulary words with a word bank of the vocabulary words. Students will label the French name of each object below the image and answer questions such as "Qu'est-ce que tu fais avec le savon ?" Based on the degree of accuracy in student responses, I will monitor and adjust my future instruction.

Performance Characteristics for Pedagogical Content Knowledge Assignment

The following characteristics guide the scoring of responses to the Pedagogical Content Knowledge assignment.

COMPLETENESS The degree to which the response addresses all parts of the assignment
ACCURACY The degree to which the response demonstrates the relevant knowledge and skills accurately and effectively
DEPTH OF SUPPORT The degree to which the response provides appropriate examples and details that demonstrate sound reasoning

Score Scale for Pedagogical Content Knowledge Assignment

A score will be assigned to the response to the Pedagogical Content Knowledge assignment according to the following score scale.

Score Point Score Point Description
4 The "4" response reflects a thorough command of the relevant knowledge and skills.
3 The "3" response reflects a general command of the relevant knowledge and skills.
2 The "2" response reflects a partial command of the relevant knowledge and skills.
1 The "1" response reflects little or no command of the relevant knowledge and skills.
UThe response is unscorable because it is unrelated to the assigned topic or off-task, unreadable, written in a language other than English or contains an insufficient amount of original work to score.
BNo response.