A very short introduction to Blended Learning

 What is Blended Learning?

A very popular answer to this question is:

Blended Learning refers to a language course which combines a face-to-face (F2F) classroom component with an appropriate use of technology.” [Barrett and Sharma, 2007]

BL_graphic

This is what we do at Stratford Teachers. We provide face-to-face learning using Skype or Google Hangouts then we use our expertise to select and recommend appropriate technologies you can use to study on your own. For example, online learner’s dictionaries, vocabulary apps and ways of using your smart phone to practise and improve your listening.

What is the benefit of Blended Learning?

When you are learning a language there are times when you need to work face-to-face with a teacher.

For example:

  • A teacher will notice the mistakes you make and show you how to correct those mistakes.
  • You can interact with a teacher to practise making conversation or to simulate a work situation like a phone call or presentation.
  • A teacher can help you to improve your pronunciation by showing you how to make the correct sounds and how to avoid making the wrong ones.
  • You can ask a teacher to explain the small differences between similar words or grammatical structures.

There are other times when you need to study independently.

For example, you don’t need a teacher when you:

  • are learning new vocabulary and phrases.
  • using recordings to practise your listening.
  • practising writing emails or other texts.
  • using websites and ebooks to practise your reading.

What is a good Blended Learning course?

A good Blended Learning course combines your independent study with the face-to-face lessons.

For example:

  • You study and learn the typical phrases for English phone calls then practise them with your teacher.
  • You learn new vocabulary for your job then use the vocabulary to explain your responsibilities to your teacher.
  • You read an article or listen to a news report then discuss it with your teacher.
  • You prepare a presentation and deliver it to your teacher.

In each case, your teacher will give you feedback on your use of vocabulary and grammar, correct your pronunciation and ask you to repeat the most important parts to help you remember. You and your teacher then decide on the best independent study you can do to blend with your next face-to-face lesson.

What do I do next?

If you think a Blended Learning English language course is a good idea, contact us to arrange a free discussion about what you need to learn and improve.

By Barney

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