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Kazuko’s Japanese 202 Flipped Learning Lesson

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This is a special guest blog post by Kazuko Nakamitsu, Japanese Language Instructor at Leeward CC. Kazuko participated in our “Stop Lecturing and Flip Your Classroom” workshop series during the Fall 2015 semester. She earned the “Flipped Learning Creator” badge and letter of completion for creating and implementing a flipped learning lesson. In her blog post she shares how she flipped her lessons. We look forward to continue working with Kazuko to further enhance her flipped classroom efforts.

Kazuko_NakamitsuThis semester (Spring 2016), I chose to create flipped learning lessons for my highest level Japanese language course, JPNS 202, because the content is more difficult and the students need more practice and help in class.  I decided to start with flipping the lessons on honorific and humble language (Lessons 19 and 20) as they are the most complicated and hard to understand concepts.

For each lesson, the students were to watch the lecture video, and complete both online and written exercises at home before coming to class.  In the next class, I gave a quiz to check if they understood the videos and we did more pair and group activities and discussion to actively engage students to use the language (i.e. practice interviewing people with higher status, creating skits among business persons, writing an article about a celebrity, etc).

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Screenshot of an at-home video lecture – Drill Practice.

My students were able to learn the new materials at their own pace at home which allowed us to use class time for hands-on activities. They were more engaged in in-class activities because they had to work harder to prepare for the class.

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Screenshot of an at-home video lecture – Grammar Explanation.

It seemed that most students liked the video I created. Students mentioned that they liked the pace and interactive quizzes and drills in my video. I used the free Google Chrome extension, MediaCore Capture, to make the video.  I chose this tool because it allows you to embed your webcam. Embedding my webcam helps my students learn the proper pronunciation by watching how I speak.  It also makes the students feel like they are actually conversing with me as they can see my gestures and facial expressions.

Here are the videos I created/used:

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Screenshot of an at-home video lecture – Interactive Quizzes.

There are a few things I would like to do differently or better and I will be contacting Rachael or Brent from the EMC for help.  For instance, I would like to create more at-home lecture videos and curate existing videos to make it more interesting.  I’m also interested in finding out a way to track who watched the videos or include an activity students submit during or after they watch the video to see if students not only watched the video but learned from it.

I’m also looking for other activity ideas such as discussions topics or activities to involve the students more in their learning.  One of my students suggested to have students teach each other since it allows them to learn from a student perspective rather than the teacher who already understands it.

The students’ performances this semester measured by both the oral test and written tests were higher than the previous semesters I’ve taught this course.  They were able to accomplish more difficult tasks and learned additional cultural values along with learning respectful language through more-in depth class discussions.

Below are a few comments from the survey that show students have a better understanding of the Japanese society and culture from learning the respectful language.  Teaching the respectful language in the flipped classroom method was a great success overall.

“I would have been lost if I didn’t watch the video before.  It would have took too long to explain keigo (=respectful language) from scratch in class.”

“When I came to class the next day, I was able to follow along much easier.  I prefer the video lectures before class rather than reading text because it is easier to remember visual and audio.”

“It (the video) was  a very good summary, interactive, and felt like I was in a lecture!  I liked it a lot!”

“The mini quizzes given throughout the video were very helpful!”

“The video lecture was helpful. It was just like being taught in a class & it was beneficial to be able to rewind the video if I missed anything.”

Another benefit of the flipped curricula for the students is to develop autonomous and lifelong language learning skills.  After JPNS 202, many of my students will not take Japanese classes, so being able to study the materials on your own is a very important skill if they want to continue learning Japanese on their own.  I feel that if I could use the flipped classroom for the entire semester, the students will become more self-directed.  Currently, I don’t have strong evidence, other than positive comments on the survey, but I am hoping to collect more data/evidence to support this hypothesis.

One Comment

  1. My name is David Rubino and I am a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Part of my thesis, which explores technology’s role in the Japanese classroom, addresses flipped classrooms.
    I’m wondering if I could request that my contact information (drubino@umass.edu) be passed on to Nakamitsu-sensei. I would like to know more about her survey results and in what way she uses other technologies.

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