The flipped classroom concept started in the US and is gaining ground worldwide in secondary and primary education. The basic idea is that the learner is expected to learn the core of the lesson by themselves (more often outside the classroom) and classroom time is dedicated to homework or experiment or discourse about what has been learnt on one's own. I am not challenging the concept per se, but there may be concerns when learning a language at beginner or even intermediate level, and even more so when the learners are children.

Notwithstanding the fact that this type of learning requires learners who are somewhat autonomous, language learning implies from an early stage communicating and interacting, how can this happen with the flipped classroom?
How can pronunciation be put into place with proper teacher's correction?

Could anyone who has experienced it either as a teacher, as a learner or even as an observant parent, give the pros and cons of the flipped classroom in language learning at beginner or even intermediate level, with adult learners or with young children?


2 Answers 2


Quite a few of the research papers relating to a Flipped Classroom approach show results of positivity and success:

From Case Studies and the Flipped Classroom

We recently surveyed the 15,000+ members of the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science Listserv to see if the method was being used by STEM case study teachers. Two hundred case teachers reported that they teach in a flipped classroom and cited additional reasons for doing so, including the following: (8) there is more time to spend with students on authentic research; (9) students get more time working with scientific equipment that is only available in the classroom; (10) students who miss class for debate/sports/etc. can watch the lectures while on the road; (11) the method "promotes thinking inside and outside of the classroom"; (12) students are more actively involved in the learning process; and (13) they also really like it

Emphasis Mine

and another:

From Vodcasts and Active-Learning Exercises in a “Flipped Classroom” Model of a Renal Pharmacotherapy Module

Conclusion. Implementing a flipped classroom model to teach a renal pharmacotherapy module resulted in improved student performance and favorable student perceptions about the instructional approach. Some of the factors that may have contributed to students’ improved scores included: student mediated contact with the course material prior to classes, benchmark and formative assessments administered during the module, and the interactive class activities.

The common trend so far is that students are more engaged in the topic and their perception of the curriculum is much better.

From The Flipped Classroom: A Course Redesign to Foster Learning and Engagement in a Health Professions School

As class attendance, students’ learning, and the perceived value of this model all increased following participation in the flipped classroom, the authors conclude that this approach warrants careful consideration as educators aim to enhance learning, improve outcomes, and fully equip students to address 21st-century health care needs.

While all the feedback so far seems positive, there's a common trend here: They're university students.

For university students, this seems like a good strategy, chances are they watch lectures online and study heavily in their spare time anyway.

However, for primary or secondary students, this isn't necessarily their style.

When I was a kid, I can remember avoiding homework like the black plague.

Trying to teaching the core of someone's studies in an environment where they avoid it? That really wouldn't work.

From a parent's point of view, it's also a big strain on family schedules, and a lot of responsibility on the child.

  • The studies you cite are about using the flipped classroom to teach certain subject matters, while Laure's question is about whether the approach can be translated to language teaching. It should not be taken for granted that the approach works equally for languages teaching.
    – Tsundoku
    Sep 22, 2016 at 21:11

Flip classroom probably would not work with beginners or young children because they are missing some of the skills you mentioned such as autonomy. For intermediate students it may be possible depending on the context.

It is possible to learn pronunciation alone. However, it would require some sort of technology that monitors the students speaking. There are countless apps that do this not to mention software.

Before jump straight into flipping a classroom it might be better to demonstrate how this works by literally practicing it with the students in class. This allows them to receive support as they try to digest the content before the actually lesson.

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