The “Flipped” Classroom

This video opens the door into the actual practice of the flipped instructional model. (not a language classroom but think of what it would mean for one). A very interesting way to think of “teaching”. Basically, it means for ELT that the heavy lifting, the explanation and focusing on form is consigned to the language lab, to self directed learning, to homework (videos of the teacher/a teacher teaching stand and deliver style). The classroom becomes a place where time is spent using the language socially, testing, risking, trying …… This is a little different than the Flipped Model for content subjects.

I see the new nature of learning as following not just a blended model but a “Flipped” model. David Truss has written a real nice summary of this. Classrooms become laboratories and places of practice. Content delivery is outside the classroom in an either formal or informal environment. Teachers no longer teach in the classroom. They teach in the sense of arranging content,  mixing/blending and then delivering it for student consumption outside of class. In class, students practice what was “digested”.

For ELT this means that classroom instruction just skips the “Prepare” and “Practice” stages (or “Engage” / “Study”.). The old instructional delivery models are wiped away and the classroom is about students coming together to practice and perform tasks based on their learning outside the classroom. The teacher deals with emergent language “in situ” and corrects/remediates as needed, on the spot.

The flipped classroom is perfect for those teachers already familiar with task and performance based curriculum. Much like “station” teaching also. However, more unstructured and when students come to the classroom – they are making the choices about what they will practice.

For many teachers though – it will entail a lot of “letting go”.  Read this Ira Socol piece and wonder about your own classroom “design”.  So too for publishers, who will have to provide books and online materials not tailored to the question 1,2,3 Speak / Grammar / Practice / Pronounce / Read / Write models they use.

I’ve a lot more to say about the specifics of “The Flipped Classroom”. Hope to share more in the coming weeks/months. See my directory of Flipped Classroom links/resources for lots more reading!

This video – The 21st Century Learner is a must watch for any teacher trying to understand the direction and implications of new “disruptive” technologies. The classroom no longer has 4 walls and learning is taking place outside the classroom (informally) through social media and “connected” learning.


If you liked this post, you might like: Learning as a self organizing principle or More About Getting Out Of The Way

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Teacher trainer, technology specialist, educational thinker...creator of EFL Classroom 2.0, a social networking site for thousands of EFL / ESL teachers and students around the world.

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