«Flipped classroom» technology in foreign language teaching

Abstract

XXI century is the age of information technologies. Cmrently, modem means of processing and transferring information are being introduced in various areas of human activity. Tlris is also evident in education. The article discusses one of the innovative technologies in teaching foreign languages-the «Flipped classroom» technology, which differs significantly from traditional teaching methods. The «flipped classroom» is a learning model in which the teacher provides students with material for self-study at home, and in the classroom, the practical work is done to consolidate the studied material. The article presents the peculiarities and distinctive features of the «flipped classroom», examines its advantages and disadvantages, and provides step-by-step instractions for using this Icclmology. The main advantages of the «flipped classroom» are the ability to implement a more individual approach when working with a group, a positive influence on the motivation of students, as well as the development of important personal qualities, such as critical thinking, interaction with people, responsibility, ability to solve tasks, and many others.

Introduction

The process of teaching children is constantly changing. New methods and technologies appear and are actively used in educational institutions. One of them is «flipped class» technology, which is a variety of blended learning.

Modern school must create new educational facilities taking into consideration the pace of information received by children. For this purpose, modern methods of teaching must be aimed at developing learners’ skills of planning their work, critical analysis of the received material, as well as implementing a variety of ideas. In other words, a child from a passive listener must turn into an active developer. In such a case, the role of a teacher is that of an assistant, partner and facilitator.

The first people to discover the technology «flipped class» were Chemistry teachers Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams. Not to waste time on explaining the new material in the class, they recorded videolectures and uploaded them into the Internet for high school students. Schoolchildren liked this format, and other teachers all over the world, inspired by their colleagues’ example, began to record videolectures on the themes under study [1].

Flipped class (lesson) is a model of teaching where a teacher gives the material to learners for self study at home. And then during the class this material is consolidated. One of the typical features of the flipped class is the use of vodcasts, podcasts and pre-vodcasting [2].

Podcast is an audio file (audiolecture) which is sent to learners through the Internet. Learners can download the podcasts to their computers, or they can listen to them online.

Vodcast is almost the same as podcast, only it’s a video file. So you can watch a lecture.

Pre-vodcasting is an educational method which implies a vodcast with a lecture created by a school teacher or a university lecturer. The aim is to make learners understand the theme before the class where this theme will be studied. Pre-vodcasting is the initial name for the flipped class.

Flipped class is a model of teaching where the fulfillment of a home assignment includes the use of vodcast technology:

  1. watching a videolecture;
  2. reading texts, looking at clarifying pictures;
  3. taking tests for initial understanding of a theme.

Classwork is devoted to studying a difficult part of theoretical material and questions that arose while doing the homework (no more than 25-30% of the time). Also at the class a teacher guides learners to solve practical tasks and doing research tasks. After classes at home practical assignments are completed, tests for understanding and consolidating of the material studied are taken.

The transition to the flipped class is a transition from teacher-centered approach to learner-centered one.

So, what are the advantages of a flipped class?

  1. Teachers have more time for explaining the most difficult parts of the material that learners studied at home.
  2. Mandatory fulfillment of home assignment by all learners, as its practical part will be done in the class with teacher’s support.
  3. Children don’t have any embarrassment and awkwardness, especially the ones who need to watch the same material several times in order to understand it (students write down questions at home, and the teacher explains them at school).
  4. Teachers have more opportunities to organize their activities at a higher quality level, involving children in various types of work during the lesson.
  5. The use of the Internet, which allows you to communicate more with children, which contributes to the formation of students’ responsibility for their education, the development of critical thinking, as well as intellectual abilities.
  6. The development of students’ qualities that are necessary for a person of the 21st century in their studies, work and life. Among them are the following: ICT literacy, responsibility and leadership, collaboration and communication skills, ability to solve problems, and others.

If we consider the disadvantages of this technology, they are the following:

  1. The implementation of this pedagogical technology will require thorough preparation. Otherwise, there will be no positive effect from its use. Teachers must be ready to spend a lot of time and effort recording video lectures. At the same time, they need to organize their activities in such a way that the classroom and extracurricular teaching will be a single whole. Only in this case, students will understand the basic principle of this technology and will be motivated to prepare for classes.
  2. Some students don’t see any advantages of a flipped class. It’s difficult for them to accept the fact that the teacher doesn’t explain any material in the class. A lot of students can’t evaluate the practical part of the method.
  3. Flipped classrooms that use videos to deliver material sometimes suffer technical difficulties. Moreover, computers or the Internet are not accessible to many individuals.
  4. Lack of motivation. There can be problems in involving some categories of students into the active work in the class.

Before using the given approach in the classroom, you should take into account the following factors: students’ age, their abilities, their interests and the topic of the lesson.

This approach may be suitable for those teenagers and adults who are responsible, independent and do not mind a lot of homework. You should not risk using this method with students who usually don’t do their homework, don’t like to do tasks on their own. Otherwise, you won’t know what to do in class when these students tell you that they haven’t studied a topic before the class.

The next factor is your students’ abilities. If their reading skills are well developed, and if they have an excellent pronunciation, you shouldn’t waste time reading long texts in the lesson. Instead, they can be asked to read the text at home and to have a discussion during the classes. On the other hand, if they have some problems with new grammar material, you can give some hints before the lesson, send them a video explaining the grammar and if they still do not understand the rules, you can explain in the lesson.

Another point to be considered in flipped learning is students’ interests. If they are really interested in the topic, e.g. «Telecommunications», «Travelling», «Junk food», they will surely enjoy learning before the lesson and sharing their opinion, having some discussions with classmates in the lesson [3].

A flipped class is not a ready-made step-by-step system that can be applied to any school or class. Here we need to look at the teacher’s desire to introduce new teaching techniques and the students’ feedback. So, you should start with the simplest tools and see how they affect the process. If the progress improves and students react positively to the changes, leave the selected method and add something else to it. If the technique is not accepted, replace it with a new one. So over time, you will have a Bank of techniques that can be adapted to classes with different degrees of involvement in the learning process.

Now let’s define a list of actions that should be done first:

  1. Change your curriculum over to a video presentation format. During the preparation of the material, make sure that the lecture is prepared in simple language and does not require additional explanations.
  2. Prepare self-test tasks for each video. Set a clear deadline and instruct students to meet the deadline. Tell your students about time management rules.
  3. Make multiple copies of the video lectures and transfer them to a USB drive. This is necessary in case one of the students will not be able to access the Internet and parents will oppose your teaching methods.
  4. Write an explanatory letter to your students’ parents. Tell them that you will use the technology of a flipped class and the children will do their homework in a new way. If you encounter strong resistance, collect all the objections and respond to them.
  5. Prepare a list of interesting topics that you will be working with during the first month. This is necessary in order to motivate students to study according to the new rules. At first, this may not be easy, so the right chosen theme will help in such situations.

The technology of a flipped class doesn’t assume the fact that you will create the material once and will use it for many years. In order for the technology to work, the information must be constantly updated and correspond to students’ feedback [4].

Conclusion

So, if you are ready to work hard, to develop your students’ skills effectively, and if you are not afraid of changes, try to apply the suggested method in your class. The use of modem educational technologies, and in particular the technology of a flipped class, allows the teacher to make the lesson modern, affects the professional growth of the teacher, which contributes to a significant increase in the quality of education, leads to the solution of the main task of educational policy. Such lessons are an important result of innovative work in the educational sphere.

 

References:

  1. J. Bergmann, A. Sams Flipped Learning for Elementanr Instroction.- ISTE: Eugene. OR, 2016 - 124 p.
  2. R. Talbert Flipped learning //A guide for Iiigher education faculty.-2017.-SMus Publishing: LLC - 264 p.
  3. V. Avetisyan Flipped approach and how to apply in the classroom // Открытое сообщество преподавателей //https://skyteach.ru/2019/05/02/flipped-approach-and-how-to-apply-in-the- classroom/.
  4. Интеллектуальный клуб 4brain // https://4brain.ro/blog/inverted-classroom/.
Year: 2020
Category: Economy