Published 4th April 2016

Flipping the classroom is a relatively new method on the TEFL scene. It became popular in mainstream schools and academies but it can definitely be used successfully in the TEFL classroom. As with all new methods, though, you may not feel that comfortable throwing out your old TEFL teaching ideas and focussing only on how to flip your TEFL classroom, and there is no need to.

Here we offer you 3 ways you can implement the basic tenets of flipping the classroom without drastically changing your teaching style when teaching English as a Foreign Language.

Peer teaching

This works well as part of a revision session. Allocate a grammar section to each student to study for homework. They must be able to come to the next lesson and teach the grammar point to their classmates however they want to – be it through activities, explanations or games. This will ensure the grammar focus of the lesson takes place at home but the grammar practice takes place in the classroom, when the teacher is on hand to answer questions or provide clarity.

Have a student research and teach the class what they have found out

Reading or watching videos

If time in class is short, it’s best not to waste time doing a reading or watching a video. There’s no reason why this can’t be done at home (if it’s possible). If you are going to deal with a reading or audio-visual text, let the students do it for homework. The classtime can then be spent discussing the text and on any questions they may have had.

Find educational videos or stories to teach

In-class homework

Considering that flipping the classroom usually involves students doing the grammar focus at home, there is no reason why they shouldn’t be doing homework in the classroom. However, this does not mean that they should sit silently for half an hour doing grammar exercises. Instead, homework can be done as a collaborative task with their classmates. Essentially there shouldn’t be a need to correct the work when it is done because they students would be asking questions as they work.

Flipping the classroom can be a great way to turn the EFL classroom on its head. This is why it can be good to try it out once in a while, so your students can approach language learning in a different way. They will appreciate the change of pace and the change in instruction and so this will ignite a renewed interest in the learning process. What’s more, it will save you valuable classroom time which can be used more effectively.