Flipping Classroom, Bringing Classroom to Life and TESOL HCMC Assembly

Highlights from Carolina Nabors’ Flipping classroom, David Persey’s Bring classroom to life and TESOL HCMC Assembly Meeting on 15 May 2015

Place: Ho Chi Minh City University of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Part 1: Flipping classroom

There’s no doubt that flipping classroom is not a new tech trend but it’s always useful to learn implementations from real practitioners. This time the topic was interestingly addressed by Ms. Carolina Nabors, an English Language Fellow who shared her experience working at HCMC University of Education. A very approachable talk indeed!


The key thing is teachers should flip the order of Bloom’s taxonomy. While the traditional classroom sequence would be Remember activities on the bottom line, Flipping classroom contested that order:


She suggest that Flipping should be considered on one of these four conditions:

  1. When the topics are confusing.
  2. When key knowledge points need covering.
  3. When topics are boring.
  4. When teachers want to adopt an authentic approach.

Useful websites like Youtube, Purdue Owl, TedEd and Saylor.org were also highly recommended.

In my opinion, the most interesting part of her talks was when she described her previous teaching experience in Nicaragua. Since there was limited internet connection, teachers there had good reasons to laugh at the idea of flipping. She then challenged their thinking by using available tech tools – USB. She copied files to students’ USB, asking the public Internet owners to let students use the computer for some free hours. It simply worked.

Back to Vietnam’s context, she was very glad it looked like an Internet heaven here so Flipping could be carried out with no organization hurdles. And she affirmed that social media (Facebook) works better than other forms (email) when it comes to classroom communications. It makes sense: Facebook users now reach the billion-user milestone.

Again and again the ‘start small’ reminder resonates other speakers on technology integration: teachers can introduce flipping lessons at some points in the course and on selected topics rather than putting all eggs into one basket.

My conclusion is that Vietnamese learners of English are ready to be flipped. It’s how and what we flip that matters. And Carolina’ talk successfully presented a strong case.

Part 2: Bringing classroom to life

David Persey on Bringing Classroom to Life (promoting the coursebook series Life by National Geographic and Cengage Learning)

Following Caroline’s talk, David, more than once, surprised me and Carolina herself (from her facial expressions J) by referring to the concept of ‘Teachers as Facilitators’ mentioned earlier in Carolina’s talk. He had been listening to Caroline very attentively, taking notes and adding new slides to his presentation. Such an encouraging listener!

The other two practical things I’ve learned are how teachers can make learners SCAN the image and use their own personal films to activate classroom engagement. Image should be shown first with guiding questions. Students then had a quick discussion and predictions before teachers revealing answers.

Guess who this person is.
Guess who this person is.

In order to use effective videos in the classroom, teachers can play the sound first, with the visuals being covered, students then guess the 5W content of the film: Who/What/Where/When/Why. And he went further by showing how personal family films can be motivating.

Overall David has proven to be a truly professional presenter: he listened, he shared and he activated participation.

Part 3: TESOL HCMC Assembly

On commenting the new term of TESOL HCMC(2015-2017), a new board of TESOL HCMC was elected. Here is the full list:

  1. Dr. Doan Hue Dung
  2. Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Vu
  3. Dr. Le Hoang Dung
  4. Dr. Do Huu Nguyen Loc
  5. Pham Tan, M.A
  6. Tran Quang Minh, M.A
  7. Mai Minh Tien, M.A
  8. Nguyen Thi Thuy Duong, M.A
  9. Le Thanh Ngan, M.A
  10. Nguyen Thi Thu Ngan, M.A
  11. Nguyen Nhu Tung, M.A
  12. Bui Thuc Quyen, M.A
  13. Tran Dinh Nguyen Lu, M.A
  14. Bui Duc Tien, M.A
  15. Tran Quoc Viet, M.A

Honorary Member: Dr. Tran Thi Minh Phuong

Thank you Carolina, David and University of Social Sciences and Humanities for hosting this useful event. TESOL HCMC Association will surely return with more valuable professional development activities for teachers in Ho Chi Minh City!


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