Although I have not been a teacher for such a long time, I have often been confronted with students reacting rather hesitantly towards grammar lessons.
However, grammar is necessary, so I was looking for an alternative to the traditional approach to grammar introduction, which is: 1. introducing the new phenomenon, may it be deductively or inductively, 2. derivation of rules for formation and usage and , finally, practising it on the base of oral and written exercises. At least this was the way I was trained during my teacher training.
Actually, this is a good and effective way, but why not trying something different now and then. While attending a conference in Berlin on new teaching methods, I was presented with the answer and was introduced to the idea of the “flipped classroom” or “inverted classroom” (as some call it).
The idea behind this method is actually not so difficult. The flipped classroom inverts traditional teaching method, delivering instruction outside the classroom and moving “homework” into the classroom. This enables us to enhance individualisation and differentiation in heterogenous classes since each students can perceive the new input individually and according to his/her learning rate. Moreover, when dealing with the phenomenon afterwards in class, I can provide different material according to individual needs and may support weaker students who might need further explanation while others can working on further material.
Preparing such lessons should not be the problems since Youtube provides us with lots of video tutorials, especially within the field of explaining grammar phenomena.
However, when checking the tutorials on Youtube, I was not quite satisfied and so I decided to create my own video tutorials.
Take a look at them:
As you will notice immediately, I´m in my very early stages of creating really good ones ;), but so far my students enjoyed the variety and the majority responds in a very positive way and help me elaborating this new approach.
As a result, last time my students suggested that when watching a video tutorial at home, it would be helpful to complete a grammar card which can then be compared in class in order to receive a feedback and to feel safer. I gave it a try and it worked even better.
So I can only encourage any teacher to be courageous and try out new things. Even if it does not work the first time, students will appreciate it and will love to help improving it.