I will look at my level 8 group C2.1 as this is the group I am designing my course for at the moment. Looking through the course book I thought it would be nice to flip the listening sections but unless I make copies of the CDs, get the students to buy the CDs or publish them illegally on YouTube this is not feasible. I therefore decided to flip a reading lesson.
The normal class procedure (following the book) would be the following:
- Speaking; SS discuss some questions related to the topic (health) of the reading while T monitors. the main aim of this is to engage students and activate schemata for the reading.
- SS read for gist; a general question is proposed and a time limit imposed. (not included in the book)
- SS read for detail; in this case complete an exam task, matching 4 narrators to paraphrased comments on there opinion or experience.
- Students discuss a brief opinion of their views on the reading
- Some kind of language analysis takes place; in this case, choice of verb for a more emphatic effect.
The flipped version
- Discussion; students respond to the discussion questions in a forum/Trello/Popplet/Edmodo post… backing up some of their ideas with links to videos/articles…
- Students read the text; first gist question and task at home.
- Students add opinions about the text to previous forum
- Students identify more emphatic verbs and complete exercises.
- Students discuss the questions from the forum face to face. (more informed by research)
- (if not done before SS compare answers from reading)
- T provides answers to exercises
- SS divide into groups and create a health campaign leaflet/poster/presentation to encourage teenagers to keep fit and healthy and make use of emphatic verbs in the process.
Pros and cons
- More time for productive activities in class.
- Students often find it hard to concentrate on reading and exam tasks in class.
- Students encouraged to read/watch authentic content and delve deeper into the topic.
- Students might have more to say about the topic.
- Students encouraged to communicate with each other in L2 between lessons.
- Students might not have time or motivation to complete the tasks at home having a knock on effect on the lesson.
- Students might have lost interest in the topic by the time the lesson starts.
- Students might have forgot what the reading was about and why they chose certain options by the time they come to class. (could be avoid by providing answers online).
- Students might not follow the gist before detail procedure.
- SS might use dictionaries/google as they read and not infer meaning from context.
- SS might take longer to read the text and not adequately prepare themselves for potential exams.
From my experience EFL teaching in private language schools it has never been about lectures, so the idea of recording a lecture seems a bit irrelevant to my context. The way I see the flipped classroom is giving the homework before the lesson rather than after it to prepare the students for the class. Is that considered flipped?
image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ajc1/8615353879