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The flipped classroom in ESL teacher education: An example from CALL

Abstract

The flipped classroom is one of many technology-enhanced teaching strategies. In this approach, students are responsible for initial learning at home (often via instructional videos) and class time is used for problem-solving and activities to deepen understanding. Although research on and use of the flipped classroom in language education is growing, little work has examined its use in teacher education, particularly for language teachers. To address this gap, this study examined the flipped classroom through the eyes of pre-service language teachers to reveal what hinders them from or encourages them to adopt this approach. Data were collected from students in a Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) course; they experienced two flipped class sessions (complementing the traditional instructor-led sessions) and completed a survey about their experiences. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with a sub-set of students to examine their perceptions in greater depth. Three major themes emerged regarding benefits of the flipped classroom: learner autonomy, learning by doing with support, and preventing cognitive overload. Four challenges emerged: learners’ technology access and technical ability, technical support for instructors, ambiguous student responsibility, and an inability to provide immediate clarification. Three additional notable themes emerged: heightened awareness of peers in the classroom, different reactions to content-oriented versus technically-oriented instructional videos, and student workload. These themes are discussed in detail, along with suggestions for teacher training and professional development. Also considered is the need to establish guidelines for best practices in flipped classrooms and to develop high-quality approaches to flipping without a dependence on instructional videos.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank the students in Computer Assisted Language Learning for their willing participation in this study and Apples Lab members Ali Alzughaibi, Caleb Cassady, and Emily Lawson for assistance transcribing the interviews. Results from this study were also presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Applied Linguistics in Atlanta, Georgia in March 2019.

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Lee, Y., Martin, K.I. The flipped classroom in ESL teacher education: An example from CALL. Educ Inf Technol 25, 2605–2633 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-019-10082-6

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Keywords

  • Improving classroom teaching
  • Pedagogical issues
  • Teaching/learning strategies
  • Cooperative/collaborative learning
  • Post-secondary education