Professional Development

What is blended learning, and how does it work in practice?

Sarah Mortimer

In the first of this week’s webinars, Nicky Hockly, contributing author to The Cambridge Guide to Blended Learning for Language Teaching, explores what a fully flexible approach to blended learning can look like, and how an incremental approach to blended learning can be implemented by individual teachers and within schools.

There is a growing interest in blended learning, but what is it? Blended learning is a mixture of face-to-face and online learning, where some elements are delivered face-to-face and some online.

So what are the benefits of using the blended learning approach?

  • cost
  • competitive advantage
  • do ‘mechanical learning’ at home
  • do communicative activities in class
  • exposure to authentic English at home
  • and much more.

Models of blended learning

There are different models of blended learning, for example, there’s flipped, mostly f2f, 50 – 50, mostly online and fully online. Let’s consider the flipped classroom, this is like a back to front classroom, learners view short lecture videos at home and class time is dedicated to performing  exercises, projects and discussions. 

How can you implement blended learning?

There are six steps you can use to implement the blended learning approach.

  • Define your terms and aims.
  • Choose the best model for your students (needs analysis).
  • Choose your online platform and create your materials, tasks and interactions.
  • Start small (try a pilot).
  • Evaluate – measure learning and get feedback.
  • Make changes.


It is important to consider and understand the basics of second language acquisition when it comes to designing a blended learning course.

To find out more, click on the link below!

For more information on The Cambridge Guide to Blended Learning, check out out page.

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