The Role of Video in the Flipped Language Classroom


  • Angelika Verch Université Grenoble Alpes
  • Elke Nissen Université Grenoble Alpes



blended learning design, flipped classroom, video, language learning and teaching


Flipped classrooms have become a widespread form of teaching. Yet, there is no consensus on how to define flipped (language) learning. Several authors consider the use of videos that prepares in-class activities as an essential principle.

The article presents a study which examined the actual roles of videos in a corpus of 52 descriptions by L2 teachers of flipped language class settings and using Willis’ 1983 framework.

In the corpus videos played a central role in before-class activities; a large number of videos were used. The roles that videos played in before-class activities in the settings did not all correspond to Willis’ framework; those which did not fit corresponded to direct instruction. The definition of a flipped setting was found to be unclear, as in a quarter of the descriptions the criteria did not apply. Video was not found to be necessarily constitutive for flipped language classes.

Author Biographies

Angelika Verch, Université Grenoble Alpes

Angelika Verch is presently a German lecturer at University Lyon 2 (France). She is a certified teacher at secondary school level in German and French and has taught in Germany, France, and USA. She is currently preparing a doctoral thesis on online tasks with video in blended L2 classes.

Elke Nissen, Université Grenoble Alpes

Elke Nissen is Full Professor at University Grenoble Alpes (France). Her research interests focus on blended and online learning, specifically regarding course design, online communication, telecollaboration and tuition within CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning).


Abeysekera, L., & Dawson, P. (2015). Motivation and cognitive load in the flipped classroom: Definition, rationale and a call for research. Higher Education Research & Development, 34(1), 1-14.

Akçayır, G., & Akçayır, M. (2018). The flipped classroom: A review of its advantages and challenges. Computers & Education, 126, 334‑345.

Baker, J. W. (2000). The “classroom flip:” Using web course management tools to become the guide by the side. In J. A. Chambers (Ed.), Selected Papers from the 11th International Conference on College Teaching and Learning (pp. 9-17).

Basal, A. (2015). The implementation of a flipped classroom in foreign language teaching. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 16(4), 28-37.

Bell, T. R. (2015). The flipped German classroom. In A. J. Moeller (Dir.), Proceedings of central states conference on the teaching of foreign languages (pp. 17-38).

Bergmann, J., & Sams, A. (2012). Flip your classroom: Reach every student in every class every day. International Society for Technology in Education.

Bishop, J. L., & Verleger, M. A. (2013). The flipped classroom: A survey of the research. ASEE National Conference Proceedings, 30, 1-18.

Brame, C. J. (2013). Flipping the classroom. Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching.

Brandi, M.-L. (1996). Video im Deutschunterricht: eine Übungstypologie zur Arbeit mit Fiktionalen und Dokumentarischen Filmsequenzen [Video in German Language Teaching and Learning: Typology of Activities for Working with Fictional and Documentary Film Sequences]. Langenscheidt.

Chen, Z. (2018). Video resources in a flipped language classroom: An experience of using videos to flip a Mandarin teaching module. In F. Rosell-Aguilar, T. Beaven, & M. Fuertes Gutierrez (Ed.), Innovative language teaching and learning at university: Integrating informal learning into formal language education (pp. 67-78).

Council of Europe. (2001). Common European framework of reference for languages: Learning, teaching, assessment. Cambridge University Press.

Council of Europe. (2018). CEFR Companion Volume with New Descriptors.

Egbert, J., Herman, D., & Chang, A. (2014). To flip or not to flip? That’s not the question: Exploring flipped instruction in technology supported language learning environments. International Journal of Computer-Assisted Language Learning and Teaching, 4(2), 1-10.

Ellis, R. (2003). Task-based language learning and teaching. Oxford University Press.

Goldstein, B., & Driver, P. (2015). Language learning with digital video. Cambridge University Press.

Gruba, P., Hinkelman, D., & Cárdenas-Claros, M. S. (2016). New technologies, blended learning and the ‘flipped classroom’ in ELT. The Routledge handbook of English language teaching, (pp. 135-149).

Hung, H.-T. (2015). Flipping the classroom for English language learners to foster active learning. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 28(1), 81-96.

Keengwe, J., Onchwari, G., & Oigara, J. N. (Eds.). (2014). Promoting active learning through the flipped classroom model. Information Science Reference.

Lage, M. J., Platt, G. J., & Treglia, M. (2000). Inverting the classroom: A gateway to creating an inclusive learning environment. The Journal of Economic Education, 31(1), 30.

Lancien, T. (1986). Le document vidéo dans la classe de langues [Videos in the foreign language class]. CLE International.

Lebrun, M., & Lecoq, J. (2015). Classes inversées, enseigner et apprendre à l’endroit! [Flipped Classrooms, Back to front Teaching and Learning]. Canopé éditions.

Lebrun, M., & Lecoq, J. (2017). La classe à l’envers pour apprendre à l’endroit: guide pratique pour débuter en classe inverse [The flipped Classroom is the right way forward: A Practical Guide to Start a Flipped Classroom]. Les cahiers du Louvain Learning Lab.

Leis, A., Cooke, S., & Tohei, A. (2015). The effects of flipped classrooms on English composition writing in an EFL environment. International Journal of Computer-Assisted Language Learning and Teaching (IJCALLT), 5(4), 37-51.

Leis, A. (2016). Flipped learning and EFL proficiency: An empirical study. Journal of the Tohoku English Language Education Society, (36), 77-90.

Lesser, G. S. (1974). Children and Television: Lessons from Sesame Street. Random House, Incorporated.

Lonergan, J. (1984). Video in language teaching. Cambridge University Press.

Mehring, J. G. (2015). An exploratory study of the lived experiences of Japanese undergraduate EFL students in the flipped classroom [Doctoral dissertation, Pepperdine University].

Nissen (2019). Formation hybride en langues: articuler présentiel et distanciel [Hybrid Language Courses: Articulation of Face-to-face and Distance Mode]. Les Éditions Didier.

Pellerin, M., & Soler Montes, C. (2012). Using the Spanish online resource Aula Virtual de Español (AVE) to promote a blended teaching approach in high school Spanish language classrooms. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 38(1), Article 1.

Perselli, V. (2016). Flipped Classroom im Fremdsprachenunterricht [Flipped Classroom in Foreign Language Teaching and Learning]. [Master Dissertation, Linköpings Universitet, Institutionen för kultur och kommunikation].

Portail Langues vivantes. (2015). La classe inversée [The Flipped Classroom]. Ministère de l’Éducation nationale - Direction générale de l’enseignement scolaire / Direction du numérique pour l’éducation, Réseau Canopé.

Rummler, K., & Wolf, K. (2012). Lernen mit geteilten Videos: aktuelle Ergebnisse zur Nutzung, Produktion und Publikation von online-Videos durch Jugendliche [Learning with shared Video Content: Current Findings on Adolescents’ Use, Production and Publication of Online-Videos]. In W. Sützl, F. Stadler, R. Maier, & T. Hug (Eds.), Media, knowledge and education: Cultures and ethics of sharing (pp. 253-266). Innsbruck University Press.

Schäfer, A. (2012). Das Inverted Classroom Model. In Das Inverted Classroom Model. Begleitband zur ersten deutschen ICM-Konferenz [The Inverted Classrom Model. Companion Volume to the First German ICM-Conference] (pp. 3-11). Oldenbourg.

Schneider, B., Wallace, J., Blikstein, P., & Pea, R. (2013). Preparing for Future Learning with a Tangible User Interface: The Case of Neuroscience. IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, 6(2), 117‑129.

Schwerdtfeger, I. C. (1989). Sehen und verstehen: Arbeit mit Filmen im Unterricht Deutsch als Fremdsprache [Seeing and Understanding: Working with Film in Teaching and Learning German as a Foreign Language]. Langenscheidt.

Strayer, J. (2007). The effects of the classroom flip on the learning environment: A comparison of learning activity in a traditional classroom and a flip classroom that used an intelligent tutoring system [Doctoral Dissertation, The Ohio State University].

Strayer, J. F. (2012). How learning in an inverted classroom influences cooperation, innovation and task orientation. Learning Environments Research, 15(2), 171-193.

Turan, Z., & Akdag-Cimen, B. (2019). Flipped classroom in English language teaching: A systematic review. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 1-17.

Ullmann, J. (2018). Entwicklung von Erklärvideos für einen Englisch Selbstlernkurs im Rahmen des 'Flipped Classroom' Prinzips [Development of Explanatory Videos for a Self-study Course Applying the Flipped Classroom Principle]. [Doctoral Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty for Languages and Literatures].

Vaezi, R., Afghari, A., & Lotfi, A. (2019). Investigating listening comprehension through flipped classroom approach: Does authenticity matter? CALL-EJ, 20(1), 178-208.

Webb, M., & Doman, E. (2016). Does the flipped classroom lead to increased gains on learning outcomes in ESL/EFL contexts? CATESOL Journal, 28(1), 39-67.

Webb, M., Doman, E., & Pusey, K. (2014). Flipping a Chinese university EFL course: What students and teachers think of the model. The Journal of Asia TEFL, 11(4), 53-87.

Willis, J. (1983). 101 Ways to Use Video. In J. McGovern (Ed.), Video applications in English language teaching (pp. 43-55). Pergamon Press.

Wolf, K. D. (2015). Video-Tutorials und Erklärvideos als Gegenstand, Methode und Ziel der Medien- und Filmbildung [Video-Tutorials and Explanatory Videos as Object, Method and Aim of Media Education]. In A. Hartung-Griemberg, T. Ballhausen, C. Trültzsch-Wijnen, A. Barberi, & K. Kaiser-Müller (Eds.), Filmbildung im Wandel (pp.121-131).

Würffel, N. (2014). Auf dem Weg zu einer Theorie des Blended Learning. Kritische Einschätzung von Modellen [Towards a Theory of Blended Learning. A Critical Assessment of Models]. In K. Rummler (Ed.), Lernräume gestalten – Bildungskontexte vielfältig denken (pp. 150-162). Waxmann.