WL: Online Integration & Management


6.1 Online Integration and Management in World Languages

Online integration is at the very heart of blended teaching.  It has to do with how you combine your in-person world language classroom with online activities (remember the baker mixing dry and wet ingredients from Chapter 1). Because the main component of blended learning is integrating online and in-person activities, online integration is a good place to begin thinking about blending your classroom.  

This is where you as a world language teacher can consider what specific online practices can help you address the problems of practice you identified in Chapter 4.1. The more examples of blended teaching you have personally seen and the more experience you have with online teaching, the easier this process will be for you. But even if you are just starting out, you will probably have a few ideas of your own. This chapter will help you explore more ideas.

Although blended teaching can seem overwhelming, experienced blended teachers say that the best way to go about this process of starting to blend is to think big but start small by seeking how to combine online components into writing, reading, grammar, vocabulary, and cultural exploration activities. Small beginnings allow you to wet your toes in the process, focus on specific pedagogies and activities, see the benefits and drawbacks, and make improvements on a small scale without becoming overwhelmed by the process.

6.2 Planning for Integration

Planning for integration is more within reach than ever before. Access to technology has become less of an issue. School districts often purchase student laptops for students and many teachers are in one-to-one environments where each student has access to a laptop. For many teachers the challenge is no longer access to technology; it’s how to best use the technology already in place. 

You can take that first small step by doing the following:

  1. Identify the problem of practice and the learning objective that you are interested in blending.

  2. Think about activities, both in-person and online, that could support the student learning. (A framework for this process is to think about activities that involve students interacting independently with content, activities that involve students interacting primarily with each other, and activities that might involve interaction with an instructor.)

  3. Consider how the online activities and the in-person activities can connect.

  4. Choose one of the activities you have considered and create a blended lesson. 

The following video provides an example of how blended teaching can address a problem of practice. Stephanie Pryce had a wide range of language abilities in her Spanish I course, with about half the class native speakers and half non-native speakers of Spanish. Using blended learning, Stephanie was able to provide differentiated instruction to meet the needs of both student groups. 

In another example, Todd Robbins needed to get his Spanish students excited about the course content material and culture. As he explains in the following video, one way that he has done this has been using virtual reality tours of various cultural celebrations and events. 

Using Virtual Reality–Todd Robbins (3:12) 

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In you are having a difficult time knowing how to address your problem of practice, a good place to start is often brainstorming ideas with another teacher or an instructional coach. For instance, in the following video Daniel McGraw shares how he applied blended learning in his classroom by collaborating with an instructional coach to design a blended project. 

Applying Blended Learning–Daniel McGraw (2:10) 

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Good ideas for online integration can also come from your students. In the following video, Daniel McGraw shares how he began using emoji riddles based on a student's suggestion.

Integration is Where the Students Take it Next–Daniel McGraw (1:46) 

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In Daniel McGraw's examples above, notice how he used blended learning to overcome the limited authenticity in his Latin language classes by applying blended learning projects/activities to real life. He wanted his students to learn and explore culture using an interactive learning object to make it like a kiosk in the museum. Then students took a virtual tour to the local heritage and cultural places the students created in their cultural experience. 

One way to look at Daniel McGraw's project example is how he blended students' interactions with the content, peers, and teacher (see Tables 13, you have similar tables in your Blended Teaching Notebook). 

Table 1 

Planning for Online Integration: Student-Content Interactions

Student–Content Interactions

Online Activities: 

  1. Students research the city of Rome online, explore and search for useful information (e.g., Google Maps, Google Earth, Websites).
  2. Students make a Google Slide. On the google slide, students combine relevant content and create interactive buttons to display useful links or relevant informational pages.

In-person Activities:

  1. Students read and organize various texts and photos.
  2. Students write titles and texts that explain each topic.
Connection: The students will explore both paper-based and digital materials about the place and history. As they do online activities, students organize valuable and easy-to-understand information for the potential audience and write titles and relevant texts to explain the online materials. Students then work on Google Slides to create interactive learning objects.

Table 2

Planning for Online Integration: Student-Student Interactions

Student–Student Interactions

Online Activities:

  1. Students who work on the same Google Slides will interact as they design them both in class and from home.  Students will make comments and discuss how to make revisions and naturally involve problem-solving processes to refine their project.

In-person Activities:

  1. Students will meet in person with other people who do not know about Latin culture and history and explain them to the audience using Google Slides, the completed interactive learning object.
  2. The students will answer any questions from the invited audience.
Connection: Students will present to a group of invited people and interact with them. They act as a tour guide to help them explore their Google Slides and answer people's questions. 

Table 3

Planning for Online Integration: Student-Instructor Interactions

Student–Teacher Interactions

Online Activities:

  1. The teacher will leave feedback on the students’ Google Slide to guide their revision.
In-person Activities:
  1. The teacher introduces an interactive learning object and encourages students to take an agentive role to explore and design it.
  2. The teacher will meet periodically in person with each student team to help them throughout the creating process.
Connection: Teachers give enough background information on history and culture for students to start the project. Then, the teacher will provide feedback online by leaving a comment box on the Google Slides and in-person during team check ins, which can lead students to think more deeply about their content and design.
Blended Teaching Workbook

In your workbook, using one of your problems of practice, fill out the Planning for Online Integration table.

If you haven't already opened and saved your workbook, you can access it here.

See another example below for how this process might work for Korean classes. Yu explains that online integration allows her students to have more proactive ways of production and comprehension in the Korean language. In this example, Yu explores examples of world language functional skills and components, writing, vocabulary, reading, and vocabulary that could be better supported in blended learning environments.

She has her students use Google Slides or Docs to write multimodal essays using images, video clips, and/or sound in addition to written language. Using multimedia, students can express their artistic values and ideas in more diverse modes of communication than in text alone. She then gives digital feedback on the writing process by clarifying the ideas expressed in the sentences and giving instruction and feedback about the sentence structures on the interactive Google Slides.

Multimodal Writing–Patricia Yu (2:16) 

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Yu’s students also learn a set of vocabulary by searching an online dictionary (KoreanEnglish) and benefit from hearing the sounds of words and studying sentences with those words in context. Students are responsible for searching for one word and its definition, recording its sound, and making sentences using the word on the template of each Google Slide. Each student's or each group's slide will make online word lists as references to refer to as they study each thematic unit. 

Building Vocabulary–Patricia Yu (2:38) 

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Yu can also check her students’ reading process. Students read and annotate texts in a Google Doc or other interactive document by highlighting and making a comment. Students and the teacher can interact by asking and answering questions about the text. 

Improving Reading–Patricia Yu (2:15) 

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Yu also prerecords her lecture videos or finds an existing video on YouTube about grammar points. The videos allow students to replay or pause/play at their own pace. Using EdPuzzle, she can also insert a video and add questions throughout the video to make an interactive check for understanding while students watch the video.

Grammar–Patricia Yu (1:41) 

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6.3 Selecting a Blended Teaching Model

Once you have chosen an activity or activities to blend, consider which blended teaching model best fits the activity. (For a review of blended teaching models, see Chapter 2: Online Integration in K-12 Blended Teaching: A Guide to Personalized Learning and Online Integration.) 

World language teachers can plan interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational modes to help students hone their four functional skills: speaking, reading, listening, and writing. There are several blended learning models that help teachers leverage the power of technology to provide students with a more personalized and supportive learning experience.

Flipped Learning 

The flipped model is one of the most often used models in blended teaching. It was designed to help teachers make better use of their class time. Rather than spending class time lecturing and then sending students home to apply their learning in homework, in the flipped model, students learn new content at hometypically in a videothen apply that learning in class through interactive and collaborative activities. 

The Flipped Model can create an active and supportive classroom but it relies on students doing work from home. The other models of blended learning can be done entirely at school with the option of doing some activities at home when needed. 

Flex Model


The Flex Model focuses on providing students with flexibility in their pace of learning by placing all or most of the learning activities online. This allows students to go at their own pace and for the teacher to focus on individual student needs. The teacher can also strategically use targeted small- and whole-group instruction when needed. The Flex Model allows students to work through learning activities at their own pace, but when students are learning at their own pace learner-learner interaction and collaboration can be limited. These two components are built into the following rotation models.

Rotation Models 

The station rotation model works to strategically combine small group time with the teacher, individual learning time using technology, and collaboration time with peers. For instance, for their individual technology center, students may do more self-paced learning with video lessons or a Pear Deck presentation that includes interpretive texts to check their learning pace with the grammar lecture video. At the collaborative station, students can work together to write paragraphs and post videos on Flip to practice a presentational mode. At the teacher-lead center, the teacher can lead an interactive lesson with breaks for question-and-answer and turn-and-talk techniques to encourage them to engage in interpersonal modes. 

The station rotation model can also include additional stations. For instance, on her blog and in the video below Spanish with Stephanie, Stephanie shares how she integrates six different stations into her Spanish course. 

Organizing and Facilitating Stations–Stephanie Pryce (3:25) 

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If you are in a classroom where every student has a laptop or other device, you can use the Whole Group Rotation model where the teacher rotates the entire class from an activity that doesn’t use technology to one that does.


Once you have chosen an activity or activities to blend, consider which blended teaching model best fits the activity. (For a more detailed review of blended teaching models, see Chapter 2: Online Integration in K-12 Blended Teaching: A Guide to Personalized Learning and Online Integration.)

You will also need to create an online space or classroom where you can facilitate online learning activities. Most of you will use the learning mangagement system (LMS) provided by your school. For instance, in the following video see how Todd Robbins uses OneNote Class Notebook to clearly provide students with actvity directions and expectations. Students can then submit their work to him via the LMS and he then can then provide them online feedback. 

OneNote Class Notebook–Todd Robbins (2:46) 

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6.4 Deciding What To Do In-person and Online in a World Language Classroom

Blended learning is the strategic combination of online and in-person modalities. But how do teachers decide which activities to do online and which to do in person? 

One way to begin answering the question of what can be done most effectively in person is to look at your strengths as a teacher, the needs of your students, and the types of activities that lend themselves to the best use of the in-person space. Know yourself, your students, and your subject matter well enough to determine what you want to preserve for the in-person space. 

Consider the following example for building background for a thematic unit in your world language class. You want students to get excited about the topic by sharing their personal experiences in person. Students can individually share their personal experiences. Furthermore, you, as a teacher, may introduce and ask students to think about cultural similarities and differences between their own culture and the other culture they are learning. 

Students work on a project as a group or alone. While working on the project, students may have relevant specific questions in the process. Answering those questions in person may help them move through the activities. In the process, students may work on their project using an interactive slide deck or documents (e.g., Google Slide or Google Doc). You can respond to their specific questions as you check their documents online simultaneously in the classroom.

You may want students to interact with one another when they practice conversations and hear each others’ reading. Students can participate in the role play and demonstrate their conversation in front of the class. Those activities may work best in the in-person space. Beginner students may benefit from observing your lip movement and hearing your articulation. You may also correct their pronunciation in the moment. 

Once you know how you can best use the in-person space, you can begin to explore ways to use the online space to allow the kinds of activities you want in the in-person space, to best use the affordances of the online space, and to make meaningful connections between the two modalities. Answers to the following questions may help you decide. 

In the following video Stephen Van Orden shares how he strategically uses video to improve and increase language input and output. In the video, notice how the online language activities help to inform the in-person activities. 

Online Language Output–Stephen Van Orden (3:34) 

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6.5 Evaluating Blended Activities

Blended learning is not just about using technology in the classroom. It is about strategically combining technology with in person activities to improve pedagogy and student outcomes.

The teacher may evaluate students' learning process through their portfolio, including the artifacts and journals they have made throughout years of learning a world language. For example, in the following video see the holistic project, Grand Review Book, that the Latin teacher used through a Google Site.  

A Holistic Blended Project–Daniel McGraw (2:10) 

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The PIC-RAT framework provides a means of evaluating your use of technology to see if it is adding value to your classroom. It helps you evaluate students’ relationship to technology as well as its impact on traditional practices.

For a complete explanation of the PIC-RAT framework, See 2.3.1 "The RAT Framework," 2.3.2 "Blended Activities that Engage (The PIC Framework)," and 2.3.3 "An Evaluative Framework for Blended Teaching" in Chapter 2 "Online Integration" of K-12 Blended Teaching: A Guide to Personalized Learning and Online Integration.

6.6 Planning Blended Routines and Behaviors

Managing a world language classroom can be challenging. This is especially true when there is a large range in students' language abilities but blended learning can help as seen in the following video.

Managing a Diverse Classroom–Stephanie Pryce (4:13) 

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Establishing routines in a blended classroom is crucial. Helping students understand when and how to move around the classroom, how to access an LMS or other online programs, how to log in and out, where and how to store hardware, how to communicate civilly and respectfully, and how to turn in assignments is essential to creating a usable blend. In addition, making plans for how to manage off task behavior can prepare you for situations that are sure to arise. 

Process for Implementing Routines in a Blended Classroom:

  1. Decide specifically the kinds of behavior and routines you want to put in place.

  2. Spend the first two or three weeks really drilling and practicing those routines. 

  3. Set clear expectations.

  4. Decide what you will do to help students who have a difficult time meeting the expectations. How will you respond to them?

  5. Evaluate your plan and make adjustments as needed. 

In Table 4 below your mentor teachers share tips they have learned and implemented that have helped them establish routines to manage their classrooms. As you read through them, think of your classroom. Are any of these tips appropriate for your setting? What ideas come to mind of ways you can effectively manage your own classroom?

Table 4

Blended Learning Routines

Blended Learning Routines—Teacher Tips

Student Movement
  • Will you have activities that require the movement of students (such as in a station or lab rotation)?
    • Will students be moving all at the same time?
    • At different times?
    • Plan an efficient way to facilitate these movements.
  • At the start of class, you can develop routines that help students get ready to learn.
    • Open the class LMS (to see if there are any new posts).
    • Get ready to participate in any check-in activities.
  • Be very clear. Make a few rules but enforce them well. 
Hardware Management
  • Remind the students to charge their laptops or tablets at home before they come to school 
  • Decide how cell phones will or will not be used in your classroom and establish guidelines based on your decisions. (For example, some teachers restrict their use during class; others let students use them for assignments or for efficient access to apps, such as Kahoot or Booklet, or taking a picture of a project. Your school may also have guidelines.)
  • Create checklists.
  • Teach students how to hold and carry devices. Practice.

Ideas for managing hardware that is kept at school.

  • Make assignments to
    • Sanitize computers. 
    • Keep a log of damages or problems.
  • Establish a routine to make sure devices are plugged in and charging into the correct charging station at the end of the day. 
  • Assign specific computers to specific desks or specific students to increase accountability.
Software Management
  • Teach students how to turn on the computer, log in, and access the internet.
  • Practice using the LMS, opening it, finding assignments, finding resources (e.g., online dictionary), checking grades, submitting assignments, etc.
  • If you have specific formats you want students to use to turn in assignments, teach them the formats.
  • Create checklists.
  • Teach students how to download, upload, and organize files.
  • Have students practice all routines.
Student Questions
  • Teach students how to find answers before they ask you.
  • Teach students where to find feedback for their assignments. 
  • Establish specific ways for students to contact you outside of class and how to address you respectfully.
  • Teach students how to use email.
  • Establish "expert" students that other students can turn to for help. 
  • Create insructional videos or review pages students can access to find answers to common problems. 
Classroom Configuration
  • Decide what kinds of activities you do in your classroom. Are there classroom configurations that will support those activties? For example
    • Create a comfortable reading space.
    • Create a space for collaboration, where students can talk and have group activities together.
    • Create a quiet spot for writing or other quiet actvities.
    • Do you have fewer than 1-to-1 devices? If so, create a space for working on computers.
Off-task Behavior
  • Use software that allows you to monitor what is on the screen of each student.
  • Teach them to monitor themselves.
  • Walk around the classroom, both to be available to help and to give quiet reminders to stay on task.
  • Utilize your LMS or other software to keep track of online behavior.
  • Help students develop time management skills, so that they use their time as efficiently as possible.
  • Teach and help students develop other self-regulation skills.
  • Give brain break activities for those students who finish early, such as online games, short online book reading, and cultural videos. 

World language teachers say that it takes time and effort to establish routines and expectations to teach students how to use the technology. But, they say, it pays off in the long run with a smooth running class and increased opportunities for interaction and personalization—all of which they see as positives in their blended classroom. 

Previous Citation(s)
, , , , & (2021). K-12 Blended Teaching (Vol 2): A Guide to Practice Within the Disciplines, 2. EdTech Books. https://edtechbooks.org/-QNCX

This content is provided to you freely by EdTech Books.

Access it online or download it at https://edtechbooks.org/k12blended_world_languages/ela_olimNSG.