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Topaeva Sabina Talgatkyzy
4th year student,
Kazakh Ablai Khan University of International Relations and World Languages,
Kazakhstan, Almaty
            Due to the need to make changes, additions and diversity in the educational process in order to accelerate the process of modernization of education as a whole, modern models and forms of conducting lessons using various technologies and online platforms have appeared. One of them, which is the most effective model of conducting foreign language classes, is flipped classroom. Being one of the types of blended learning model, it is represented as an educational strategy that aims to improve classroom activities and student engagement by giving them the opportunity to study the necessary material at home and work on problem-solving during classes. In learning a foreign language, it plays an important role in improving students' communicative skills and competencies, as well as in the formation of a "linguistic personality". Due to the peculiarities of this model, by diversifying the assimilation of a foreign language, it is able to realize the modern tasks assigned to it for the development of foreign language learning processes.
    Keywords: Distance education, flipped classroom model, blended learning, foreign language, communicative competence
            Methods of research: survey, pedagogical observation
            Distance education has become a common term for students and teachers during these pandemic times. In this case, it was the way of continuing the educational processes by following safety rules and quarantine measures. Since “distance learning” is not a new term, it has been used in practice even before the pandemic for the educational purposes of those who did not have an opportunity to conduct or participate in classes in a traditional form. It is a method of study where students learn remotely using Internet, e-mail, mail or other platforms and don’t meet with teacher in classroom. It included online chatting, face-timing, video-conferencing, screen-sharing and other functions available on a used online-platform. Thus, the difference between distance and traditional forms of education was not visible, not taking into account the importance of real-life interactions.
       However, online-platform’s functions were not sufficient to improve and evaluate student’s knowledge, competences, creativity and other crucial abilities. There are difficulties of distance learning in the form of a lack of motivation, since not everyone manages to maintain the right pace of learning without outside control. Also, with distance learning, personal contact of students with each other and with teachers is minimal, and sometimes there is no communication at all, that is, communication skills do not develop. Thus, in a foreign language acquisition process in schools, there was a necessity to diversify the process itself in various ways, so that students will be able to successfully reach the desired level and effectively communicate in a foreign language. Also, foreign language teaching process at school should meet the standards of the modern educational process. [1] As a result, demand for blended or mixed learning has increased, as the models of distance learning which can solve the problems that appear during distance learning. Effectiveness of blended learning model and flipped classroom technology was justified by the fact that with their help, students and teachers could achieve all goals in foreign language education, without obstacles in the form of difficulties that were mentioned above. In the case of language learning, standards of the modern educational process require a focus on learning to use the target language rather than learning about it. “Blending” or “flipping” language classes, in turn, put emphasis on developing communicative competence, which means students will be able to produce the target language. [2]
            Blended learning
What is blended learning? Blended learning approach refers to collaborating between in class education with online learning. Accordingly, it only comes along with a traditional classroom, which means it combines both traditional and online methods of conducting the lesson. Blended learning is a hybrid of the two extreme learning models, in which learners utilize online tools out of class to complement the face-to-face interactions that they encounter in a traditional classroom environment. This model provides flexibility to both students and teachers, as it maximizes the efficiency of the use of onsite learning with an online environment. Firstly, traditional classroom requires real-time participation and online classroom may either need real-time engagement or enable pupils to participate at their own pace. Secondly, blended learning allows teachers to track the learners’ engagement and quickly help them in their academic performance. Moreover, it is focused on the capacity of both modalities (onsite and online) and how each may help achieve meaningful learning through getting the right “mix”. What is important here is to ensure that these two forms complement each other, not replace. It is due to the fact that traditional and online forms of learning require different pedagogical approaches and differing nature of face-to-face and computer-assisted learning interactions. [3] [4]
Figure 1. Blended learning model
      Flipped classroom
       There are different models of the blended learning approach, which are also common and effectively used in educational institutions. Flipped classroom is one of these models that irreplaceably performs its function in enhancing students’ learning experience. It is called “flipped” according to its reversed method for the traditional one, where the lesson is taught during the class and the homework is assigned right after. In a flipped classroom model, students first get acquainted with the topic and study the lesson material before the class. Then they learn how to implement the information and knowledge they got (from the material that was due to study before the class) in a classroom setting. The acquaintance with the topic usually happens online, with the help of the teachers’ online lectures, instructions, sent texts and online discussions. The classroom setting can be either online or onsite. Students practice their skills and assess their own knowledge during the discussions and debates with peers. In this case, flipped classroom combines group learning and individual learning. Students have an opportunity to manage their time while studying the material, which helps them learn it in the best way for them. Then they will have to discuss the learned material with their classmates, in groups and teams. This undoubtedly increases not only their performance and engagement during the class, but also their competences and skills, as they should study a certain topic on the individual and collaborative levels.
            The main advantage of the inverted classroom is the organization of educational work, which supports the development of qualities and skills of the 21st century, such as cooperation, creativity, problem-solving ability, independence, literacy in the field of ICT, etc. Nevertheless, organized work changes the usual roles of both the teacher and the student. With a flipped classroom technology, the teacher ceases to be a central figure in the educational process, which is perceived by teachers as a loss of status. And students for many school years have become accustomed to a passive role in the educational process. As a result, the attitude towards independent activity is gradually becoming pragmatic and formal. [5]
            In foreign language education, flipped classroom plays a huge role in achieving learning objectives by providing students with better learning opportunities. Students must acquire not only skills, but improve their mental abilities and intellect in the foreign language learning process. The goals of teaching foreign languages should be defined as communication-oriented, since there is an obvious need to simultaneously provide students with knowledge of the language and the formation of creative flexible communicative skills. Moreover, in order to contribute to the formation of students' communication-based skills, that is, readiness for free verbal communication, students must be given more time and space for discussing and debating on the taught subject. By using the flipped classroom model, it is easier to generate motivation for speech communication, due to a pre-familiarized topic, which learners strive to reveal through communication processes and questions posed to the teacher. In an environment where information is exchanged and a common topic is discussed during the verbal interaction of people, students develop speech-thinking activity, which eventually leads to the development of communicative competence. According to Kunanbaeva S.S. the need for the formation of students' foreign language skills to implement the functions of the psycholinguistic mechanism (regulatory-controlling, reflective, evaluative, approximate-selective, interpretative) in speech determines their importance in determining an adequate communication model. The psycholinguistic mechanism, in turn, is linguistic consciousness due to its correlation with the mechanism of individual knowledge. In the presence of a flexible and mobile language consciousness, learners will be able to develop individual-speech and linguistic abilities.
            The definition of the final result of foreign language education as the formation of the personality level of the "subject of intercultural communication" and the formation of a "linguistic personality" in a qualitative educational aspect will allow students to adequately carry out intercultural-communicative communication, as well as to carry out intercultural communication in variable professional and life situations, demonstrating appropriate communicative behavioral culture. Accordingly, through the use of various modern innovative technologies and models for the successful conduct of foreign language lessons, what is an integral part of the process of modernization of foreign language education, these goals are the most achievable. [6]
            Being given an opportunity to get acquainted with the topic before the classroom setting, students will have the necessary knowledge to freely exchange opinions and have a discussion with their peers and the teacher. Through the right questions, they will be able to fully reveal the essence and the main idea of the lesson, which is an infrequent phenomenon in the traditional form of education, where they have to do homework on a passed but not reasoned topic. Students may have questions about a past topic that they would like to discuss in class, but since this is their homework, they had to find the answer themselves. But when the topic is not fully disclosed, the student does not accumulate the necessary knowledge. Therefore, if we compare foreign language lessons that take place in the traditional form with a flipped classroom technology, first does not always contribute to the development of the necessary skills and abilities to use language as a means of communication.
            Two learning environments that flipped classroom technology has been divided into, outside and inside the classroom, must be perfectly integrated for this model to be effective. Planning each detail what will happen in each environment is the first step to organize a foreign language class using this technology. Selecting activities, tasks and determining how to integrate selected activities that occur in both environments is the especially important step, since no part should be planned separately. And the last step is to present all these in an organized way. [7]
            For instance, a teacher records a video before the lesson explaining the new topic that will later be discussed inside the classroom. The video is sent to students or uploaded in a certain educational web-site or platform. There can be some additional information in a form of texts, pictures or audio and activities for learners. After receiving and watching the video, students prepare for the class. During the online class, they do several activities and exercises selected by a teacher, do quizzes and discuss the topic. Then, a teacher assigns a home task related to the topic, that can be in a form tasks, quizzes or project work. Thus, students have more time to check their own comprehension and knowledge that they obtained from the material sent by a teacher, evaluate themselves and present a final outcome, as an indicator of the acquired knowledge.
            In order to identify the attitude of students to the use of this model in a foreign language lesson, I conducted a questionnaire where students expressed their attitude towards the traditional and “flipped classroom” models of the lesson. Earlier, students got to have an online English class on the educational platform “Microsoft Teams” using the "flipped classroom" model, which helped them name the features of the two models by comparing them. 15 students of high school (11th grade) participated in the survey. The advantages of the latter model were mentioned in the form of comments:
  1. Increased motivation of students “I was unusually active when I got to study the topic before the class. It is easier for me to engage in class when I have a background knowledge.” (Participant A)
  2. Flexibility “Our teacher sent us the necessary vocabulary for the next lesson and almost all of us successfully used it in our speech during the English class. Thus I memorized that words much easier.” (Participant B)
  3. Learning at one’s own pace “Being able to study the topic beforehand is really helpful, because my pace of studying is slower than my peers’, so I’m not usually engaged in class.” (Participant C)
Among disadvantages they mentioned:
  1. Neglect of duty “Some of my classmates did not watch the video that was due watching before the class, so the teacher had to explain to them the main idea. It wasted our time.” (Participant D)
  2. Nonperformance of students “My peers participated in class without reading the necessary material and were passive throughout the entire English class. “Discuss with your partner” part of the lesson was carried by the ones who were ready.” (Participant E)
  3. Disorganization in time “Teacher sent us the material to study only the day before the actual class. It was difficult to study all that in a short period of time.” (Participant F)

Figure 2. Result of the questionnaire
       The result of the questionnaire demonstrates that only 6 out of 15 students (40% of students) have heard about “flipped classroom” technology before. 11 students (73% of students) believe that the "flipped classroom" model makes a lesson more fascinating, while 2 students do not agree with this and other 2 students could not give an answer. 86% of students believe that this model helped them improve their academic performance and language proficiency. 12 out of 15 students (80% of students) think that one class was enough to fully comprehend the topic, while 2 students (13% of students) encountered difficulties in understanding the topic using “flipped classroom” model. 93 % of students pointed out the effectiveness of the model and would want to have “flipped” English classes again. The amount of students who are skeptical about the model and think that there is no need to apply it in the educational process, and the number of students who emphasized the absence of a huge difference in their academic performance using “flipped classroom” technology, is below 20%.
     Most of the students also noted the effectiveness of this model in the development of their communication competencies. In virtue of the previously studied material, they had the opportunity to conduct discourses and debates using the language being studied. They noticed an improvement in their speech skills and the ability to use English as a means of communication.
From the English language teachers’ point of view, this flipped learning model provided several benefits:
  1. opportunities for personalized and student-centered learning
  2. a permanent connection between student and teacher
  3. increased motivation of students
  4. instant feedback and class engagement
  5. better learning environment for improving communicative skills of students
  6. opportunity to use one’s creativity for securing the desired outcome
            Although, teachers can diversify the lesson implementing different teaching styles, methods and using different technological tools in order to improve “flipped classroom” model’s effectiveness in their teaching environment, the model itself cannot be changed in its essence. The role of the teacher in this model is to guide students, that is the main reason why “student-centered learning” is the main benefit that FL teachers always point out.
In accordance with the above, it can be concluded that through the “flipped classroom” model, students increase their degree of communication activity, motivation to master a foreign language, the ability to adequately express their own communicative intentions with the proper selection and use of appropriate language tools and, thus, a "linguistic personality" is successfully formed.
  1. Kunanbaeva S.S. Modern foreign language education: methodology and theories. – Almaty, 2005. – 264 p.
  2. Una Cunningham. Flipping the language classroom / Una Cunningham // New Zealand Language Teacher. -2017. -№43. –P. 41-50
  3. Aras Bozkurt, Ramesh C Sharma. In Pursuit of the Right Mix: Blended Learning for Augmenting, Enhancing, and Enriching Flexibility / Aras Bozkurt, Ramesh C Sharma // Asian Journal of Distance Education. – 2021. -№2. – Pp. 1-4.
  4. Michael Mondejar. Implementing Blended Learning in Foreign Language Education: Reasons and Considerations / In N. Sonda & A. Krause (Eds.) // JALT2012 Conference Proceedings. -2013. -№2012. –P. 475-481
  5. Marina Kurvits. What is “flipped classroom” and what is its the difference from the traditional mode? http://marinakurvits.com/perevernutii-klass/ - / Marina Kurvits. –Tallinn: Мастерская Марины Курвитс [website], 2017
  6. Kunanbaeva S.S. Theory and practice of modern foreign language education. – Almaty, 2010. – 344 p.
  7. Ahmet Basal. The Implementation of a Flipped Classroom in Foreign Language Teaching / Assist. Prof. Dr. Ahmet Basal // Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education. -2015. -№16. –P. 28-37


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