How to make the most of your time in the classroom

Flipping The Classroom

I first came across the idea of ‘Flipping the classroom’ after watching a TED talk by Salman Khan who presented how you could use videos to flip maths classes.

Flipping the classroom means the students do (what would traditionally be) classwork at home and homework in the classroom.

So the students would learn the theory at home, in the case of MFL – they would learn the words/grammar needed for next lesson and then come to class and practice, create and explore what they have learned.  As the teacher you have more time to support, explain monitor and work with the students.

How are they going to learn the material without you? I hear you ask. Simple how they learn everything else these days, via Youtube clips you have chosen (or made if you somehow have the time). Lots of teachers have already done the work for you. Just type into Youtube – ‘Por Para’ and you will find hundreds if not thousands of videos explaining the grammar point.


I have experimented this year with some of my groups and found it to work really well.

I am looking at it from an MFL perspective but here are a few things for any teacher to consider…

  • You can make this as simple or complicated as you like – just vocab to learn? Or do you want them to understand a complex grammar point?
  • How will you suggest they learn the new material? Linguascope? Quizlet? using a powerpoint you have made? In which case they will need a way to access it – either using the school VLE or your own website? Will they use the internet – Youtube for explanations or specific websites recommended by you?
  • How will you know they have done what you asked? Test at the start of the lesson? What will you do with the students who did not learn it?
  • How will you differentiate the consolidation activities in the class to allow for all levels?
  • What will your role be in the class? To go through in more depth? Clarify anything they didn’t understand? Support them in using the new knowledge?
  • How will you know they have understood? – Test? Presentation to the class? Write about it, mindmap… let them choose?!

The extent to which you prepare the material depends on how much time you have but for MFL teachers… this idea works really well with Quizlet. I gave one class some vocabulary to learn (the specific vocabulary for the next lesson). They walked in the next lesson confident and able to recognise and use the vocabulary in context, even pronounce the words due to listening to the audio in the website. In addition because of the time saved learning the new vocabulary, they were able to practice in all four skills in more depth during the lesson.

This idea is just to get you thinking. It’s not meant for every lesson and certainly preparing endless videos on each grammar point for each language is not something I envisage ever having the time for… but I will continue to experiment with the concept when I can, with the resources I have and just see what happens.

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