4 Ways to Flip your ESL Classroom & the System that Makes it Possible

Flipped learning is a way of flipping the traditional learning experience, making lessons more dynamic, more engaging, and more in line with how we learn today (video! audio! online games!). Instead of using up a lot of class time for the initial introduction of the target language, some instructional material is assigned to students before the lesson, to be completed outside of class, leveling the playing field and making them more prepared for the lesson.

There's no one way to flip—you can use a combination of resources that suit you and your students' needs. This 5-part series is meant to get your ideas flowing. How can you remove some of the teacher-led explanation time and present it to your students outside of class? How can you warm them up for your lesson before they even arrive? How can you engage your students with the material, before you even say "good morning class"? Let's see what I mean...

The Traditional Classroom

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 4.16.31 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 4.16.38 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 4.16.43 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 4.03.03 PM.png

The teacher starts a lesson by introducing target language, like a grammar point or a thematic group of vocabulary words.

The students then study the target language with some written exercises, attempting to solidify the target language in the their minds. 


At the end of the lesson, the students engage in an activation activity that hopefully enables them to use the target language in a natural scenario.

Teacher assigns homework for further, at-home study (without a teacher there to answer questions).


Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 4.16.54 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 4.17.01 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 4.17.07 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 4.17.13 PM.png

Students do multimedia assignments before class, familiarizing themselves with the target language. 

Teacher re-introduces the target language. Because students have already spent time studying it at home, their in-class questions are more focused and they are more proactive in the learning and studying portions of the lesson.

Less teacher-led explanation time means more time for students to actively use the target language in activities and natural conversations.

The target language sticks! Rinse & repeat.


What Flipped learning is NOT:

Flipped learning is not a way to replace the teacher with more homework, videos or fancy digital learning management systems.

High tech learning tools are very useful, but they should never replace conversation with an experienced teacher. Class time with a language teacher is extremely valuable (and expensive) for the student. Flipped learning is a way to move certain elements of a lecture to out-of-class time, saving precious class time for engaged learning and natural conversations.

You do not have to commit 100% to flipped learning right away to reap its benefits. Try one or two of these methods out slowly and watch how your students' engagement grows.

In this 5-Part series, I'll show you 4 ways to flip your ESL Lessons, and the system that automates it all.

Want to flip on your own time?

Download the free Flipped Learning Ebook!

Ready to flip? Let's get started!

Perhaps the most popular way to flip your classroom is with video. In the video section I have a list of video resources ready to use, and a quick tutorial on how to make your own videos (for free!) without any fancy equipment or know-how.

Flip your listening lesson and give your slower students the opportunity to listen as many times as they need. In the audio section I teach a quick tutorial on making audio files with software you already have on your computer.

Turn a google form into a teacher's aid by feeding your student the fundamentals of your lesson before they get to class. I'll show you how to do it right here.

Why won't those darn vocabulary words stick in your student's brain? Because they're learning them the old fashioned way. Want to double, even triple your students' vocabulary in half the time? Send them digital flash cards before the lesson. Click here and I'll show you how.


For a new teacher, or a teacher with several classes or private students at different levels, flipped learning seems to require a daunting level of organization, before you even get to creating or finding the actual flipped learning materials! 

Don't stress! I would never suggest adding to a teacher's unpaid workload. I've got a great solution for you right here.