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Volume 11 Number 4, Winter 2014, Pages 1-134   

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Flipping a Chinese University EFL Course: What Students and Teachers Think of the Model

    Marie Webb, Evelyn Doman and Kerry Pusey

“Flipping” the classroom is an instructional strategy in which students do homework in class and classwork at home, with the ultimate goal of spending more in-class time on problem-solving and individualized instruction (Lage, Platt, & Treglia, 2000). Although this strategy has been embraced by K-12 teachers in the United States, research into applying the “flipped” model in an English as a foreign language (EFL) context at the university level has yet to be published. To address this issue, an experiment was conducted with intermediate level EFL classes at a university in Macau, China. Data from observations and surveys revealed that initially the flipped model did not match learner expectations of teacher roles in the classroom. However, at the end of the 15-week course, students in the experimental classes requested additional flipped materials and appeared more comfortable with the model. Additional findings from teaching journals uncovered that three out of the four teachers recommend the flipped approach for promoting creativity and opportunities for higher order learning in the classroom. The journals also indicated some skepticism among teachers in regards to applying the flipped concept to language instruction and struggles with student engagement with the materials.

Keywords: flipped classroom, technology-enhanced language learning, instructional strategies