This project aimed to use active learning and flipped classroom to provide flexible and sufficient language accuracy building, increase in-class time for communication, language fluency building, provide opportunity to apply and self-check language skills in real-world situation, and increase reflection about own learning.

  • Course: RSSN2110 Russian Language III, 2nd year undergraduate language course (10 students)
  • School/Faculty: School of Languages and Cultures, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Delivery: weekly, two two-hour face-to-face contact sessions
  • Active learning approach: flipped classroom (online weekly grammar and vocabulary accuracy building), in-class communicative activities, guided real-world communication outside of class
  • Assessment tasks: weekly online homework and quizzes, post-interview reflections, all other assessments are foundation for the major mid-semester and final oral and final written exams.

Key issues and anticipated outcomes

Students taking on Russian study and continuing to 2nd year are usually motivated to learn, but not used to doing regular homework; are generally very concerned about mastery of grammar and anxious about speaking in Russian (as is typical); have previously responded positively to some active learning strategies (authentic language tasks and assessments).

Thus, this project had the following main goals:

  • Provide sufficient self-paced practice of and timely feedback on mastery of lexical and grammatical elements of the course (language accuracy building); 
  • Increase in-class communication and engagement through pair and group-work, discussion and task-based activities (language fluency building); 
  • Support real-world interaction with native speakers, help students overcome foreign-language speaking anxiety, and increase reflection about and responsibility for own learning.

Project innovation team