The Use of Literature in EFL Classroom: Italian Canadian Short Stories as a Teaching Innovation Experience Through Flipped Classroom Strategy
The aim of this article consists of showing that motivation is necessary for the success of a teaching and learning experience in an online classroom. By using the flipped learning method, the student becomes the central part of learning, being more active than in the traditional class and taking responsibility for his/her learning. He/she goes from being a mere spectator who only listens to the teacher's speech to someone with a voice in the classroom structured to allow student to acquire knowledge and build different competencies. The experience described below by implementing the flipped learning in the subject Contemporary Culture and Society of the Anglophone Communities, of the online Bachelor's Degree in Spanish Language and Literature, at the University of Burgos, excitement and self-expression replaced fear and dread. This awareness helped students in the construction of critical thinking and, in this specific case, culture and literature represented a better way for students to understand and know the society in which the language used in the texts is the language spoken (Valdes, 1986). During the first phase of this experience, the 56 students were divided into 14 groups of four members in each one; they were given instructions by different videos recorded by the teacher and during which she explained what to do, how to develop the project and how to proceed and deliver the final task. She also introduced the general topic of the Unit “Acculturation, adaptation and sense of belonging in women emigrants through Italian Canadian short stories” by uploading different readings by different women writers who had migrated from Italy to Canada for different reasons and in different periods since XX century until today. Mostly based on real events, these writings unveil the different coping strategies deployed by Italian Canadian women and how they dealt with the complex process of settling into life in a new country. After having chosen the writer to work on the 14 groups proceeded to research and investigate them. They also kept regular contact with the teacher by fora or tutorials so the teacher could track and monitor their learning progress and needs. The project consisted of preparing a presentation on the woman writer selected including the context she lived in and her work. During the last phase, after the task delivery, she asked all groups to share the posters and presentations and to ask questions and comments about them in a forum opened for that purpose. Finally, a questionnaire on their perception of the flipped learning approach in the course was prepared and distributed to the students. The result of this experience has shown that the flipped learning strategy succeeded in motivating the students to build and acquire knowledge and to reach beneficial outcomes.
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