Bill Tucker, in Education Next, describes a Flipped Classroom as the following: “While there is no one model, the core idea is to flip the common instructional approach: With teacher-created videos and interactive lessons, instruction that used to occur in class is now accessed at home, in advance of class. Class becomes the place to work through problems, advance concepts, and engage in collaborative learning. Most importantly, all aspects of instruction can be rethought to best maximize the scarcest learning resource—time” (Tucker, 2017).

A flipped classroom creates a student center and a personalized learning environment that maximizes face to face time with instructors (virtual or brick and mortar classrooms).  There are debates over the pros and cons of flipped classrooms with the biggest debate being over the use of technology.  If used correctly, a flipped classroom utilizes technology as a tool not a means to all instruction.  There must be personal and live interaction with an instructor.  Clear norms and expectations should be made by the instructor for correct usage of technology and what interactions with technology should be like to access content and complete activities.

Now let’s talk about the pros because there are plenty! According to Mike Acedo, the pros to a Flipped Classroom are as follows:

  1. “Students have more control.
  2. It promotes student-centered learning and collaboration
  3. Lessons and content are more accessible (provided there is tech access)
  4. Access = easier for parents to see what’s going on
  5. It can be more efficient” (Acedo, 2019).

With the ongoing use of technology in the world around us, the need to become digitally savvy and develop 21st Century Learning Skills is important to acquire future jobs that may not even exist yet.  Now that we have established how wonderful a flipped classroom may be, let’s consider what that may look like for a language learning environment and in particular with the World of Learning Institute.

Some of the pros mentioned by Mike Acedo include that learners have the opportunity to control their learning due to the content being more accessible.  The World of Learning Institute uses a variety of resources to organize content that can be accessed via a learning platform.  The content is delivered through videos, readings, and hands-on activities to engage with.  A variety of learning styles is considered when selecting engaging materials.  All of the resources provide enhance the learning of the language.  “They can study at their own pace due to availability and accessibility of all necessary resources in the e-learning environment” (Evseeva & Solozhenko, 2015). The learning platform can be accessed through any device with a connection to the internet.

The value of a virtual live session increases immensely using this model.  After learners have engaged with the content and have worked through a variety of resources, they will meet with the instructor in live virtual sessions to work through authentic learning experiences and conversational practice.  The goal of language learning is to communicate and in order to do so, there needs to be time to develop this skill and while working in this model, learners can use large portions of their live virtual sessions to communicate. It increases the value of the face to face interaction with a facilitator and peers.  Our World of Learning Instructors take a lot of time in preparing live sessions to actively engage learners in conversation.

An additional bonus to live virtual sessions with the World of Learning Institute is that all live sessions are recorded and safely posted in the courses so learners can revisit at any time. “A continuous access to online materials allows students to keep pace with the curriculum if they have to miss classes because of illnesses or other reasons” (Evseeva & Solozhenko, 2015). For these purposes, learners can also view a live session again to gather information or to review conversational phrases, suggestions, etc.

Lastly, the World of Learning Institute requires that all instructors effectively communicate with facilitators and parents to ensure that a learner has been supported during their language learning experiences.  Directions are provided to any parent wishing to create parental accounts to monitor their child and view content.  Facilitators in schools are also granted such opportunities to help support the learners at all times.

Due to the supportive studies surrounding Flipped Language Classrooms, the World of Learning Institute practices this such model with the understanding to support all learners and to ensure their needs are met.  This model allows for personalized learning and interest-based activities to create meaningful learning experiences in which a learner will acquire the new language.

Sources:

Acedo, M. (2019, January 28). 10 Pros And Cons Of A Flipped Classroom. Retrieved April 10, 2019, from https://www.teachthought.com/learning/10-pros-cons-flipped-classroom/

Evseeva, A., & Solozhenko, A. (2015, November 06). Use of Flipped Classroom Technology in Language Learning. Retrieved April 10, 2019, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042815051393?via=ihub

Tucker, B. (2017, September 12). The Flipped Classroom. Retrieved April 10, 2019, from https://www.educationnext.org/the-flipped-classroom/

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