EXPECTATION AND REALITY: FLIPPED CLASSROOM IN TEACHING ENGLISH FOR SPECIFIC PURPOSES
RUDN University (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
About this paper:
Conference name: 13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 11-13 March, 2019
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Among the problems that the teacher of English for specific purposes (ESP) solves, the most significant are the following: increasing students' motivation to learn a foreign language, using authentic specialized texts, improving all types of students’ communicative activities, implementing the individual approach to teaching. Students, on the other hand, seem to expect to develop practical language skills in order to become more competitive in their future profession.
The application of blended learning and a Flipped Classroom model in particular could bridge the gap between students’ and teachers’ expectations and the reality of learning and its results. The advantages that the Flipped Classroom model provides are widely known. This model changes the style of teaching, requires active participation of students in information processing and further use of the acquired knowledge in practice.
The article presents the experience of using the Flipped Classroom model in teaching the Specialized texts annotation and abstracting course for ecology master’s students. Before classes, the teacher provides students with such materials for self-study as a section of the textbook, a list of active vocabulary and clichés, an authentic scientific article on environmental issues, test questions on reading comprehension of the article in electronic form via e-mail, website, online teaching platform. In class, the teacher initiates a discussion on the read article in order to activate new vocabulary, clarify difficult issues and correct any misconceptions. The main part of the lesson is devoted to practical student work in pairs on writing annotations to the article, peer review and discussion, comparison of their texts with the original text of the annotation.
Implementing the Flipped Classroom model we certainly expected good results: activation of students’ independent and classroom work, optimization of time costs, implementation of an individual approach. Have the expectations surpassed the reality? Obviously not. We faced a number of difficulties: laziness of students in doing homework, lack of proper self-organization, unwillingness to change the usual type of classes. To overcome these difficulties, a reward system was developed to encourage active students and more individualized assignments were created for passive students.
However, we see the main result: Flipped Classroom increases the motivation of students to learn a foreign language, contributes to forming of communicative competence of students.
Keywords: Blended learning, flipped classroom, ESP, specialized texts.