Flipping the Classroom for ELLs

Why the blended learning model is a good choice

One of the latest trends in the education world is blended learning. So what is blended learning and how can it help English Language Learners? The term blended learning has been used in education for many years. It involves the integration of traditional classroom instruction and educational technologies and can take different forms.  Nowadays, the newest model is the flipped classroom.

In a flipped learning environment, the traditional format of in-class lectures followed by at-home student assignments is turned around or “flipped”.  The student is required to watch an instructional video or lecture at home and then complete associated tasks or projects in the classroom.  While students work through assignments in class, teachers can better identify and target each student’s needs and facilitate differentiated instruction.

Another objective of this individualized approach is to empower students to direct their own learning by coming to class prepared to ask questions and problem solve with their peers after viewing the subject matter on their own.

For English language learners the model has some obvious advantages. While watching a video at home, students can take notes, work at their pace and re-watch the video as many times as necessary.  Watching video naturally lends itself to language learning, since the visual content is more readily accessible to students of all proficiency levels than complex textbook syntax and vocabulary.

The next day, teachers can spend less time lecturing in the front of the room (a la “chalk and talk”) and have more time to spend engaged with students, giving more personalized instruction, while the students use class time to complete tasks alone or collaboratively.

This brings me to the next and perhaps the most important advantage of the flipped classroom for ELLs.  When English language learners are given more opportunities to interact with their peers in class, opportunities to think critically, and use English to connect authentically with others to acquire knowledge increases dramatically.  

To read more about the flipped classroom and blended learning visit the following links:

http://mindshift.kqed.org/2012/02/whats-blended-learning-ask-salman-khan/

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2012/02/09/a-first-hand-look-inside-a-flipped-classroom/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blended_learning#cite_note-Horn.2C_Michael_B._2011-1

3 comments

  1. I think it is the teacher and parents who must make education relevant to students. Technology should become an inclusive tool. Where all can obtain access to hardware and applicationsif needed.Notebooks, iPads, and netbook computers — paid for with the help of state dollars — are becoming an increasingly common sight in classrooms.

  2. Martina says:

    I think this will give more power to the students besucae they can understand both cultures. But they can’t never feel one hundred percent Mexican besucae they think like an American. I came here when I was seven years of age and part of my life was with people who speak spanish I even joined a musical group in spanish but I always face a problem that I did not understand their spanish besucae even if the meaning of a word gets translated it can come with a different meaning . My spanish that I speak here is not the same as the spanish from Mexico. If I speak English I have to think like an American If you keep translating you never will make your point across . If you are a small kid I think theres not need for ESL but if you are an adult this will be a perfect program.

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