Can you Flip Listening Practice?

--Originally published at Flipping my Spanish Classroom

This is a common question that I get from people who are asking about the flipped classroom, so I felt it should be addressed.

In my opinion, listening is the most crucial skill in any language. It can also be the hardest to teach and practice. Before I flipped my classroom, when we worked on listening, I played the CD and students answered comprehension questions. I would play the selection three times and then we would go over the answers. Great, right? Well, not so much.

What I realized (not as quickly as I should have) was that listening to a selection 3 times was fine for 50% of the students in class. Not nearly enough students were really understanding the listening. By doing listening in a large group, quite a few students would just copy what their neighbors had written down, and a few more would just give up entirely. This method was not really helping my students learn the most valuable skill in communication. So, the second year I flipped my class, I knew that I had to better incorporate listening into the classroom.

I began by just putting listening selections online and having student answer written questions. However, now there are so many great technology methods that can be used to help with this process. My favorite is EdPuzzle. With EdPuzzle I can easily embed questions into videos where I want them. This makes it easier for students to listen and listen again to the appropriate section to find the answers to the questions. It also means that students have to listen individually and I found that the students worked hard and really focused on comprehension of the listening to be able to answer the comprehension questions. As a result, listening comprehension scores improved, which is always the primary goal.

An added bonus of using Edpuzzle is that I was able to quickly grade student responses and see data which showed where students were struggling. Here is a snapshot of the quick grading on EdPuzzle.

This enabled me to better focus my instruction and continue to help my students improve. Sometimes by looking at the student data all together, I also realize that I need to work on the wording of a question, or that the question was too difficult.

Here is a sample of the video and questions that I am using in the review for Spanish 2 at the beginning of the year. 


  • Thanks for an interesting post. Flipping listening is so natural! Teaching listening comprehension of course goes beyong repeatedly answering questions on audio or video stimuli. A lot has to do with strategies: what to listen for, how to anticipate, interpret changes in intonations, etc. That is a terribly fun part to flip as well. I have recently, and by accident I must say, discovered that you can actually write/draw on videos withing the default photo app of Windows 10. This enables me to flag particular segments for the students’ attention, either before they occur (“wait for it, you are about to hear…”) or after they have occured (“did you just catch that particular word? Did you notice how the intonation changed here?, etc.) You can see an example there

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