Flipping French Grammar

Posted in: Case Studies

Project Leader: Dr Sandrine Alegre, Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies

This is a case study of one of the University's funded pilot Flipping Projects, looking at the motivation for flipping, the methods used, lessons learnt and impact.


The very high number of students for this type of course: 120 and we want to introduce slowly year 1 students to different type of teaching / learning.

The flipped classroom

3 sessions were flipped in semester 1 of academic year 2013/14. Students were initially chosen to prepare short video presentations of grammar points. These were placed on Moodle along with grammar explanations and exercises. During the teaching hour the students used clickers to answer a series of increasingly difficult questions relating to the grammar studied at home. The material used were videos created by the students, videos, activities and quizzes created by the teacher. The students were supposed to prepare the lesson at home before the lecture and then the course time was spend to do quizzes, peer activities and questions. Also a forum was created on Moodle to answer questions. Our main finding was that the students did not do sufficient preparation in advance.

Lessons Learnt

  • The team that created the videos did some great work. This is clearly an exercise that students enjoy as it combines creativity and learning
  • It demands a large amount of preparation from the teacher
  • Students in general do not prepare the class mainly because in this particular course they work just for the exams or coursework assessment.  Then it was difficult for them and the teacher to make the most of this experience.
  • We felt that the most important discovery is that it matters greatly how you explain it to students. We felt that we did not do enough of this, so student engagement was lower.
  • Next time, I will do it with my students and try it in year 2 or 4
  • The feedback for these sessions was not very positive.  As this was part of a more traditional course, students did not seem to like the idea of flipping the work onto them. Rather than passively consume lectures, they were required to actively prepare. Inevitably, this met with resistance.
  • It has to be a balance between traditional approach and flipping.


Flipping sessions were not directly linked to exams however we collect formal and informal feedback from the students (results in paragraph above on findings).

About 6-8 colleagues come to observe the flipping session and give us a very constructive and positive feedback.

Presentation at a conference on Innovative Language Teaching and Learning at University: Enhancing Student Performance, 16 May 2014, School of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Leeds.

Posted in: Case Studies