How my ELLs used Flipgrid to teach their languages


One of the coolest things I’ve done with Flipgrid is have my ELLs do 90 second mini-lessons for a phrase in their first languages.

First, I told them what I wanted – a short video teaching some phrase from their own language. We then discussed what the qualities of a good video would be: pauses for the learner to practice, some kind of written prompt, simple English based spellings of difficult words, and time for repetition.

The videos were great. Students made colour coded cue cards, offered explanations on how the gender of the speaker may affect the structure of a sentence, sternly admonished the learner to repeat after the teacher, and placed appropriate pauses for the viewer to practice. After watching all of them, I not only learned a lot more about their languages, I felt like I had things to learn from their own pedagogies!

I had already made some connections to other teachers through Edmodo, and so I created a password-protected grid for our classes to join. And then the students did it. My students practiced saying what the other schools’ students were teaching, and vice versa.

Because it was the first time I had done an activity like this, I wasn’t at all sure how it would turn out. But it was great, and there were so many rich layers to the activity. Students were engaged in an authentic, meta-cognitive, performative task over which they had considerable creative control. They were able to celebrate their expertise and an important aspect of their identities was being publicly valued. Quintuple win!

If you’re a teacher and looking for some kind of Flipgrid partnership, send me a message on Twitter or look for me on Edmodo. In a reply below, share how you have innovatively used Flipgrid or other technologies with your ELLs.

For other ideas on how to use FL, check out this post.


  1. […] Sometimes we can forget that our ELLs possess the gift of bilingualism. One of the best things I’ve done is have my students prepare a short video where they teach a phrase or two from their first language. Students in another school, or even another class, then record themselves speaking back what they’ve learned. Read here for a longer description of this activity.  […]

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