Motivating and Empowering Students' Language Learning in Flipped Integrated English Classes

Motivating and Empowering Students' Language Learning in Flipped Integrated English Classes

John Paul Loucky (Seinan Jogakuin University, Japan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0824-3.ch005
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Abstract

This chapter offers definitions of “Flipping Classes” (FC), which shift responsibility towards more student autonomy and responsibility, and employ media outside of class to help learners prepare for and contribute during classroom time. FC's primary purpose is to increase student engagement by the wiser use of CALL/TELL, and SMALL mobile-enhanced E-Learning. Students also enjoy preparing their lessons out of class and gain confidence and communication skills as they present in class. In support of these aims, examples of flipped instruction tools are examined with a view towards mining the best applications and websites. A decade constructing Integrated English courses for Japanese and international graduate engineering students has given the author opportunities to give them increasing access to language learning programs. These classes have also incorporated a Flipped Classroom approach to challenge students to test and collect their own favorite sites into a Symbaloo.com palette of language learning tiles to motivate and empower their language learning.
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The Importance Of Engagement In Motivation Factors

As Lai, Zhu, and Gong (2014) emphasize in their study, the “Quality of Out-of-class English learning,” active engagement in such activities correlates highly with successful language development. To determine which activities were most beneficial they surveyed 82 EFL students to identify which characteristics of non-classroom activities associated best with good learning outcomes. They found that

out of class learning composed of diversified constituents that met the varied [student] needs in language learning and complemented in-class learning by striking a balance between focus on meaning and focus on form were positively associated with good English grades, English learning efficiency, and enjoyment. (p. 278)

As one would expect, both parents and teachers were significant sources of influence on the quality of out-of-class learning for students. Also not surprising, were findings by Richards (2009) that northern European students showed much better English language growth and achievement than those countries lacking much natural exposure to English, such as Spain, Italy, Korea and Japan.

Most important to this study on the use of Flipped Instruction technology are Lai and Gu’s (2011) finding that “learners who had greater self-regulated language learning dispositions, a stronger belief in seeking language use opportunities beyond the classroom, and greater confidence in their proficiency level were more likely to use technological resources to support language learning beyond the classroom” (p. 281). So clearly, it would be these more autonomous, self-starter and self-regulated learners whom Flipped Instruction methods would help the most.

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