The flipped classroom model is not a new concept for most ESL teachers. We’ve been flipping classes long before it became the latest trend in education, long before we even knew what to call it, understanding intuitively that students will not acquire a language by passively listening to an instructor’s lecture. Flipping the classroom happens naturally in conversation and reading classes, which lend themselves to class discussions or role-playing activities, or in writing classes, where students can spend valuable class time writing and peer editing. But what about grammar classes? This seems to be where many teachers get trapped in the common pitfalls of providing lengthy explanations and reading through a list of rules, followed by reciting answers to fill-in-the-blank activities. How can grammar teachers apply the flipped model to create engaging, dynamic lessons? Continue reading
Why FLIP, or blend face-to-face learning, with digital learning? Well, the reasons are numerous. Many I have outlined here in the previous months. Moving some content outside of the classroom allows us more flexibility in the classroom. Additionally, it allows our classrooms to go back to a collaborative, communicative, rich language environment. However, it also allows our students to microlearn.
What is microlearning? While the term may seem new to you, the concept is not. Students learn best when content is presented in small chunks. Think of YouTube and Khan Academy. The success of these sites speaks directly to their appeal to digital natives—learning in bite-sized pieces for those ever-dwindling attention spans for traditional lectures. Recent research indicates that exposing students to new content in small doses is the most effective for learners today. Yet, while traditional learning methods are decreasing, media consumption is rapidly increasing for learners of all ages. Thus, the success of Khan Academy and TedEd. So, what about our ESL learners? How can we provide more microlearning for them? Continue reading
Like many of you, I am bombarded on a daily basis with ESL and education “news” from a multitude of sites. There are a few I breeze over, and others that I really pay attention to. One that has me stopping and thinking on a weekly basis is firstname.lastname@example.org. For those of you who may not be familiar with te@chthought, it is a vibrant website that is committed to providing resources for the 21st century teacher. Personally, I love the site because it really holds true to its mantra: learn better.
I recently came across a great article that reinforces what I believe about a good blended or flipped model. The article highlights the difference between using technology in the classroom and integrating technology.
While many of us are simply trained to use technology in the classroom, few of us are trained to effectively integrate this technology in a planned and purposeful way into our students’ learning experiences beyond the classroom walls. This integration of technology transitions us nicely into our discussion on the next two pillars of a FLIPped model: Intentional content and Professional educators. Continue reading
Blended learning, the Flipped classroom, Extended learning . . . all terms that are being used today. However, the big question remains—are commercial materials readily available that allow us to move toward FLIPping and extending learning opportunities for our students without creating more work for teachers? Absolutely! This month I would like to focus on just that—how MyEnglishLabs, particularly Next Generation Grammar, have been designed with blending or flipping in mind.
The four pillars of the FLIP include: Flexiblity, Learning culture, Intentional content, and Professional educators. Over the next two newsletters, I will walk you through examples on how Next Generation Grammar meets each of the pillars. Continue reading
In last month’s newsletter I wrote all about the increased level of engagement among students when a blended model is employed. I touched briefly on the FLIPped model. In this edition, I’d like to take a deeper look at the FLIPped model and what exactly it means for an ESL classroom. Continue reading