Revisiting blended learning in training foreign language

Abstract

Blended learning being one of the relevant educational approach at the current moment directly connected with the conditions of coronavirus pandemic lockdown combines teacher’s face-to-face and online learning. It involves elements of independent student’s control of the educational schedule, place and pace Oflearning and integration of teacher’s experience.

It allows developing students’ planning skills, self-control and self-regulation giving them much freedom. In this case teacher-assisted learning concerning students’ needs seems to be an important part. Because students are eager however to have teacher’s presence in the distant classroom as he demonstrates patterns Ofbehaviour and thinking, ways Ofbuilding relationships.

Blended learning has many advantages combining distance and traditional teaching methods: it provides the opportunity for students and teacher to interact with each other at on-line platforms. It also creates a favourable educational environment, the mood to achieve a result, motivation to study. Participants instantly receive feedback, discuss material, ask questions. Collaborative learning and student interaction enhance cognitive abilities, develop their emotional intelligence. The blended model provides more freedom for students: choose of material, pace, time and place of study. The teacher has more freedom as well: in the presentation of training materials, monitoring and evaluation due to reducing his time to test as it is performed online.

Introduction

New changes in educational system of Kazakhstan connected with coronavirus pandemic lockdown defines significant changes in training foreign language. Besides the implementation of new educational standards directed to the trilingual model focuses on the transition from learning, where the student is the object of teacher’s exposure to learning, where he becomes a subject himself being a developer, a researcher, a tester and a analyst,

while the teacher is a coordinator, curator, partner and expert. In this case the technology of blended learning allows teaching students the ability to learn more independantly using different removed online platforms.

Blended learning is an educational approach that combines face-to-face learning and online learning. It involves the elements of student's own control of his pathway, time, place and pace of learning, as well as simultaneous integration with teacher’s face-to-face- and e- Iearning [1].

At lessons of a foreign language we can observe the whole system of various techniques: online learning, team-based learning, self-learning, teacher’s advising. The result of each lesson is a certain product created by the learners:

schemes, tables, clusters;

  • grammatical fairy tales;

the written answer to questions on texts, tasks on a topic of the lesson;

  • presentations;
  • creative activities (advertising, projects, letters, menu);
  • drama.

In this case the teacher turns from translator of knowledge into moderator, navigator and trainer. He helps students to find their path to objectives using available opportunities. Training obtains a great importance for them and forms a stable motivation. Project-based training helps to apply the obtained experience into practice. Practical activities allow to apply knowledge and skills forming competences.

Team-based learning develops students’ communication skills, teaches to collaborate in group, to be united, to assess their own capabilities, to consider partners’ opinion, to pursue a mutual goal. These skills seem to be an important factor for competitiveness in the modern world.

In blended learning both online and teacher-led learning are equally important. The online environment gives students the ability to control themselves the pace, time, place and pathway of training. This helps to develop planning, self-control skills and gives freedom. Teacher’s help is an important part of blended learning. The role of the teacher varies according to the needs of students.

One of the examples of blended learning is formation of comfort environment for students in the form of so called «Change of activities zones».

The peculiarities of this technique consist of a certain zoning of training media and coordination of training process. Students are divided into three groups and each passes through every zone.

In our article we show an example of this technique on the topic «Applying Job».

First students receive material: ready-made examples of Resume in English, video file Interview with employer, electronic lesson «How to write Resume?»

The final goal: to write a resume and to perform an interview with an employer.

Division into groups is carried out according to the following principles:

  • Success in learning;
  • Rate of mastering new material;

- Motivation.

Group 1 «Advanced» - tendency to independent cognitive activity and active development of new material.

Group 2 «Normal» - work at the usual pace with good productivity.

Group 3 «Problematic» - work at a slow pace, difficulties in mastering language skills.

Blended learning allows the teacher to build flexible routes for learners with different levels oflanguage knowledge by changing activities areas.

Here are the consequent steps of all activities in different groups.

Step 1. Writing Template Resume

Group 1 - task performance in team;

Group 2 - online training (training on the base of electronic lesson «How to write the Resume», mistakes correction);

Group 3 - teacher’s face-to-face instructions (explanation of the new material, filling gaps in knowledge).

Change of zones.

Step 2. Completion of writing

Group 2 - teacher’s face-to-face instructions (error correction);

Group 1 - final arranging of the Resume by online training (knowledge consolidation and enrichment through search work);

Group 3 - Writing a Resume in team after teacher’s face-to-face instructions.

Change of zones in accordance to the change of assigned task.

Step 3. Watching video «Interview with Employer».

Preparation of «Interview of an applicant with an employer» using Resume;

Group 1- online training (working with additional material that removes difficulties of task);

Group 2- team work: preparation of an interview;

Group 3 - teacher’s face-to-face instructions (introduction to the topic, structuring the material).

Step 4. Presentation of «Interview with an employer».

Group 1 - team presentation (1 employer 1-2 etc. applicant) of interviews, correction of mistakes; other groups train on the example of the first interview;

Group 2 - paired interview presentations in video form (video viewing, correction);

Group 3 - paired presentations with one of members of the group 1 acting as employer.

To organize independent, individual, or team work for students teacher uses work lists with detailed instructions, guide questions, tasks, schemas, useful links, and so on are used.

Working Card

For Group 1

Step 1: team work - writing a Resume;

Step 2: on-line study - final correction;

Step 3: team work - making up an interview;

Step 4: mixed work - presentation of made up interview by team and support for group 3 in presentation.

Working Card

For Group 2

Step 1: on-line study - writing a Resume;

Step 2: teacher’s face-to-face instructions - final correction;

Step 3: team work - making up an interview video;

Step 4: mixed work - presentation of made up interview in pairs.

Working Card

For Group 3

Step 1: teacher’s face-to-face instructions - correction before writing a Resume;

Step 2:- team work - final arranging a Resume;

Step 3:- teacher’s face-to-face instructions - structuring items of an interview, writing an interview;

Step 4: mixed work - presentation of made up interview with support of group 1.

Step-by-step work planning and setting achievable goals in blended learning promotes obtaining tangible results. Besides self-control skills are developed and students are motivated to learn language more intensively. Increasing the value of self-assessment and self-control, as well as collective control and mutual assessment provides formative self-assessment by the students themselves (we have achieved/have not achieved the goal, we have succeeded/have failed), and final evaluation in mixed training is made at the final stage based on the results of the project, presentation, product, completed task (summative evaluation by the teacher). Besides all steps are possible to do using online chats/

Setting learning goals that reflect learning outcomes aims to produce the final result on material studied. Students’ self-assessment of their achievements generates their progress in the course language acquisition. The task of formative assessment is to give students feedback on the quality of their progress.

Digital collections of educational sites expanding and enriching teacher’s opportunities seem to be a great tool at the lesson. The use of https://leamingapps.org/ sites, https://resh.edu.ru/ http://lingua-frbt.ru/ with collections of multimedia interactive exercises significantly increases the efficiency of foreign language classes, increases students’ motivation and creates a comfortable environment for learning and self-learning students with different levels of foreign language knowledge.

Research methods

So, in the course of this small investigation, we have analyzed one of the advanced nowadays methods - Blended learning in training foreign languages. This technique may be successfully combined with different traditional methods. They altogether allow us to reach good results in foreign language acquisition. In the article the following methods were used: scientific observation and investigation, critical thinking and analysis method.

The results of the study

The concept of blended learning promotes avoiding old inefficient traditional techniques towards active position of students and their corporate interaction in the process language acquisition.

Conclusion

Transformation of teacher’s role to the coordinator of blended learning, its handler, partner and expert, expansion of his opportunities due to online learning, formation of student ‘s subject position, individualization of learning - all these factors are distinctive components of the innovative educational environment at the lesson with blended learning. These strategies and tools can be successfully applied in higher school to achieve best result in learning foreign languages. Especially now when we come across with the new problem to teach our students in the conditions of distance learning.

References:

  1. Andreeva N. V., RozhdesWenskaya L.V., Yarmakhov B. B. Step of the school in blended learning. - M., 2016.
  2. Bonk Curtis J. The handbook of blended learning: Global perspectives, local designs. SanFrancisco, CA: Pfeiffer Publishing.
  3. Sharma, P and Barret, B (2007) Blended Learning: Using Technology in and Beyond the Language Classroom. Oxford: Macmillan Education.
Year: 2020
Category: Economy