The foreign language flip class stages. Part 1


Looking back at the flipping and blending I have done in my Spanish class and refleflip foreign language classcting on the process, I thought it would make things easier if you have a set of stages that you can follow to work on your flipped classes and to organize and pace yourselves more accurately. I know some will be using the summer to work on planning next year’s flipped class, so I hope this helps….Here it goes… The process of flipping a class consists primarily of four “stages”:

  1. The Harvesting Stage.
  2. The Washing, peeling, chopping Stage.
  3. The Let’s get cooking Stage.
  4. The Digesting Stage.

Emilia’s foreign language flip class stages

foreign language flip blend class stagesTaking it one stage at a time, let’s start with the “Harvesting Stage”

The Harvesting Stage is where you will CYOFF (Create Your Own Flip Formula), which we already talked about in the post Behold the Foreign Language Class Formula. On this preliminary stage this is what should be done:

  • Ingredients:
    • Flip class articles, blogs, videos, webinars, examples, tutorials, ideas. The book written by Jon Bergman and Aaron Sams (flipping “gurus”) is now available as well: Flip Your Classroom
  • Procedure:
  • Research, research, research: as mentioned on the CYOFF post, the very first thing you should do is research. It is important to get your ideas straight and to fully understand the approaches. Why teachers are doing it? What are the benefits? What are the challenges? Don’t forget I posted all my research resources on the CYOFF post.
  • Define flipping and blending: Do you know what  flipping a class means? Do you know what blending a class means? What do they mean to you? What are the differences? Have you found some examples of each?

One of my favorite resources to define flipping and blending is the webinar by Catlin Tucker shown below.

To recap:

Flipped instruction (reverse instruction):

  • The lecture is done at home (listening, reading, taking notes)
  • The class time focus is practice (where they have the teacher support)
  • It could be complemented with technology both in class and at home.
  • It is a student centered class
  • It is a student empowered class
  • It is a differentiated class

A blended class (blended learning):

  • Combines face2face instruction with online instruction
  • The lecture is not necessarily done at home
  • The lecture could complemented with technology
  • The practice could complemented with technology
  • The homework could complemented with technology
  • Identify types of flipped classes: I have come across several different types of flipping. Probably  the most heard of are “the traditional flip”, where students work together in a unit and advance together and “the mastery approach”, where students work at their own pace and advance to the next lesson/unit after “mastering” some type of assessment. You should definitely look into them carefully. You might find you want to follow a specific approach sacredly. You might feel like the general concept is something you would like to embrace, but would adapt some features of it. Again, that is fine, it is all part of CYOFF.
  • Define your goals: define clear goals for yourself, your students and your class. You will need them to give your process a solid purpose and to later define if these goals were accomplished. Two things will help you create your specific goals:
    1. Jon Bergman’s flip class question: “What is the most valuable use of class time?” Think of your particular case to answer this question. If you have a large class, a small one, a mixed level class… What would be the ideal use of your class time?.
    2. Reviewing what the flipped and blended methods have done for other educators and their classes. Do they apply to you? Could they reflect your goals? Are they your goals? As an example, look at what  the flip class has done for this teacher:

  •  Should you flip, blend, flip/blend or neither?: this is a question that you must answer now before going on. Analyze all your research and “Harvesting” documents. I do believe it is not for everyone. You should also evaluate yourself, your students, your school. Will you have school and parental support? Remember, it is a big change and it does take a lot of work. You need to make sure that if you commit to it, it will get your class to where you envision it.


UPDATE: Crystal Kirch’s second webinar has just been made available. It is absolutely a must see while working on this stage. Crystal is a math teacher who fully flipped her class this past year. She has the most amazing ideas, some of which I want to implement next year. Remember how I told you to review resources from all flippers and not just language ones? Well this is definitely the best example.

The webinar is about one hour long, but really totally worth it. So make your self a cup of coffee and enjoy, but not too much. Make sure you take notes and work on CYOFF while viewing it.

Important questions are answered in this flip class webinar such as: What has the flip method done for you class and your students? What does your class look like? What are students saying? How do you assess?, etc. So here it is: Crystal Kirch’s Flip Class Intro Webinar


Finally, I would like to leave you with one last flip class resource

The “Art of a Flipped Classroom” webinar. This webinar should help you through this “Harvesting Stage” as well. Make sure you work on this preliminary stage so we can get started with the “Let’s start cooking Stage”. I will soon share my own “Harvesting Stage” for next year’s flipping.

To view the webinar go to the flippedlearning website. Then, type in the search box “The art of a flipped classroom”.

Flipped class webinarDo let me know if there is any other information you might need.


Image Credit

5 thoughts on “The foreign language flip class stages. Part 1

  1. Hola, Emilia! Thanks so much for sharing your reflection on the flipping/blending process. Your blog will be a very useful guide for foreign language teachers who are exploring and/or considering flipping components of their instruction. I am still harvesting and can’t wait to read your ideas and suggestions for the “Washing, peeling, chopping Stage”. Merci!

    • Hola Karima! I am really happy to hear that the blog is being useful. Please let me know if you have any specific thoughts, questions, ideas that you’d like to share here throughout your flipping process. Can’t wait to collaborate on the next stage! Gracias a ti!

  2. Hola Emilia,
    I teach Spanish 2-3 and would like to flip my class. I tried to install Camstudio in order to turn my pp presentations into videos, but I’m having problems making Camstudio work. I know there is a program where you can convert pp into videos, narrate them and include yourself in a small window/picture to make it personal, but I don’t know the name of the program.I wonder if you know it? Thanks for sharing your reflections on your flipping process and for your blog.

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