A Flipped Model for Turkish as Second Language Classrooms

This article was prepared as a final project for the Post-Pandemic Language Teaching Course held by Michigan State University CELTA.

The language learning process has been an independent activity, even if one attends a language course, most of their learning upon their efforts. It is necessary to experience the target language, discover its dimensions, and understand how it works to acquire its core points. However, most of the learners are ignoring this and they assume that their learning is under control as soon as they have attended the classes.

I observed the same situation among Turkish language learners in Turkey. Sometimes, students expect magic at end of the session without showing any self-learning performance. However, things have changed since the pandemic, learners took some responsibility for their own learning. This new era increased self-study times and helped us as instructors to discover new strategies.

I would like to apply a station-rotation model to my classrooms however private language courses in Turkey are closer to authentic pedagogical models than transformative ones. Therefore I wanted to develop a flexible model which follows the syllabus but also has some blended learning features. This way, I will be utilized learners’ new learning habits in post-pandemic classrooms.

In this plan, the main approach will be a flipped classroom model. However, student profiles and institutions’ pedagogical preferences are not totally suitable for a flipped classroom model. Therefore we can call the model a “Partly Flipped Classroom” which is suitable for adult learners who learn Turkish in private language courses in Turkey.

Why flipped classroom model?

Flipped or inverted classrooms are described as “an instructional model wherein lecture material that is normally delivered in class is delivered online to the students prior to class timings to maximize the period available for the knowledge practice and application” (Jdaitawi,2019:666). In this way, flipped classrooms aim for a deeper understanding of core concepts (Burke & Fedorek, 2017: 11). It increases self-study time and makes the learning process more active for students. According to Kong, flipped classroom model follows three parts: pre-lesson learning preparation, in-class domain knowledge learning, and post-lesson learning consolidation (Kong,2015:20). However, following these parts for every lesson might be hard for our contexts with adult Turkish language learners. Since most of them are faced with a lack of leisure, it would be meaningless to expect them to complete all the online activities before and after the lesson. Besides, it is important to consider that more “login” might decrease motivation.

By considering all these factors, transferring all the course content into online resources will not be useful for the students. Therefore, I planned a model that allows me to utilize online resources and the textbook together. In this plan, learning activities will be divided into three different stages as Pre-weekDuring-week, and Post-week tasks. In this way, the teacher will not go out of the curriculum of the institution and the students will have fewer out-of-class tasks.

How to apply?

  1. Pre-week tasks:

Pre-week activities will consist of online tasks that students need to complete before the week starts. During these activities, students will learn the course content at their own pace through instructional videos and exercises. These resources will be available on the website which is designed for Yeni Istanbul textbook users by Istanbul University to support users’ learning process online. 

istanbulturkce.com – Türkçenin Doğru Adresi ]

As part of pre-week activities, students will be responsible for completing Grammar Explanation Videos and Exercises. In this way, they will have a basic understanding of the concept before the class. Since the students are facing a lack of self-regulation, these tasks will not be overwhelming and will take approximately 1 hour to complete. On the other hand, they will be free to complete other activities available on the website.

(Resource: URL= https://istanbulturkce.com/ , 08 July 2022 , 5.57 PM GMT+3)

2. During-week tasks:

In this plan, the teacher’s role will change from teacher to facilitator, however, due to institutional restrictions, the curriculum planned must be followed. Therefore, the teacher will design tasks by following the themes of the book ( I would suggest Yeni Istanbul Coursebooks since the website istanbulturkce.com follows this source).

The tasks will be real-life tasks as much as technology-integrated tasks. On the last day of the week, the teacher will organize PLT (Personalized Learning Time) day to make room for practicing and covering the missing subjects.

During the PLT days, there will be different working stations for different language skills (grammar, speaking, writing, listening, and reading)  in the classroom. Students will be able to choose the skill they want to practice. Also, they will be able to bring their materials or pick one of the materials that the teacher suggests to them.

3. Post-week tasks:

After the students covered the subject they feel weak, they will be able to take the online quiz shared on Edmodo. They can have the test on the PLT day after they feel ready or at home. The tests will be mastery-based and students will be required to take the test until they have the perfect score ( %85 and above). 

References:

Burke, A. S., & Fedorek, B. (2017). Does flipping promote engagement?: A comparison of a traditional, online, and flipped class. Active Learning in Higher Education, 18(1), 11–24.

Jdaitawi, M. (2019). The Effect of Flipped Classroom Strategy on Students Learning Outcomes. International Journal of Instruction, 12(3), 665-680.

Kong, S.C. (2015). An experience of a three-year study on the development of critical thinking skills in flipped secondary classrooms with pedagogical and technological support. Computers & Education, 89, 16-31.