The ‘Flipped’ ASL Classroom

I’m teaching ASL this semester and feel inspired with the amount of learning that is going on in the classroom so far. The students seem to be excited about the work, getting over the ‘performance’ fear and really picking up the language. The goal even with developing the course over the summer was creating a strong connection to the class objectives and to the students goals. When developing the classroom design I was thinking about theย  things that would make the learning experience meaningful to these students who are here to get their foreign language credits. What would make them passionate about Deaf Culture, interacting with the Deaf community, begin to move their face and hands in ways they had never done before, and expand on their understandings of how form and meaning can differ with various languages.

One of the classroom approaches that I have been reading up on is the ‘flipped classroom’. What this is where a student does most of the content learning outside of class and then uses class time for higher level Blooms Taxonomy processes such as applying, analyzing, creating, etc. It’s become a lot of late nights trying to put together meaningful and engaging activities that make relate to each of the lessons but the outcomes so far have been worth it. It’s a lot of ‘hands up’ time, a strong emphasis on ASL only classroom immersion, signing modeling opportunities, and real world scenario practice. The classroom engagement and comprehension levels are impressive so far, and the students seem to be learning and enjoying the subject matter.

For those of you who have taught American Sign Language what are some strategies that you have found most successful in your classes? Have you used the ‘flipped classroom’ approach?

For people who have taken American Sign Language classes what experiences were most meaningful to you?

11 thoughts on “The ‘Flipped’ ASL Classroom

  1. The first time I’ve heard about this “flipped classroom” concept was just last week. It intrigued me and now I’m trying it for the first time this semester for my ASL V class. If you have any examples to share on activities done in class, that would be great! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I’m not flipping yet, but am using in class videos of myself in specific categories for the students figure out the signs on their own. It’s been amazing to allow them to analyze the facial grammar when I pause the video & they list the NMS they see. Could never do that without video. I’m so excited about this year! They will be watching videos in groups in class for now until I get all logistics of the flipping worked out. One flipped lesson every three weeks is my goal right now. Just set up my twitter account today & am excited about finding other ASL educators out there!

  3. I too have just learned of flipped classroom concept. I m curious how you plan to incorporate this philosophy. I teach College level ASL at our local HS so this would be PERFECT…I m just apprehensive and how to begin. I would love to brainstorm together!

  4. Thank you for all of your comments. So far I have been having the students practice the ASL vocabulary outside of class and then in class we are having them create ‘skits’, play games, and going around the room creating a ‘community’ around the subject that they are learning. Then they are forced to really interact and use the language in it’s natural form. Learners need to feel that the language they are learning matters to their lives, that it is relevant to them and to their futures. There will be an upcoming blog post with more specific ‘flipped classroom’ activities that I’m trying out in class and look forward to seeing what you are doing in your ASL classrooms too.

  5. Sara! OMG – I’m so glad you do this. I want to flip my class but I have no idea how. I want to read your info here but could we talk about how to do this?

    Ginny Moorefield

    1. Ginny-I am still incorporating activities that incorporate the ‘flipped classroom structure’ but am still learning and growing with the practice. The main focus of a flipped classroom is to develop methods to deliver content online outside of the classroom and then allow the classroom time to be full of ‘application’ of the knowledge. What ways do you think you can do that for your class?

      1. From what I have been reading the instructor still has to incorporate learning outcomes and objectives to be sure that we are still creating an effective classroom environment. I think it takes time, as you build the materials needed to create an effective ‘flipped classroom’. What subjects are you teaching now? I would try to think about one activity you can ‘flip’ and then take it from there..

  6. I started to flip my classroom this last semester and can see the benefits. There are several ideas that I want to put into place starting this Fall. In your flipped classroom, do you have everyone on the same lesson? Or are they more on their own pace? I have so many questions and ideas! I have 150 hours to put together what I can this summer for a college class (6 hrs.).

    1. That is fantastic! I do have everyone at the same lesson and follow the outline of a MOOC with then a very robust classroom with lots of activities to solidify the learning. I do like the idea of having people learning at their own pace, because people do pick up concepts differently. Best of luck!!

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