Description of pupilsMario can’t sit still or concentrate. He enjoys actiongames.Lucia is very quiet- does not say much. But she listenscarefully and her written work is always good.Emanuela has moods. Some days she takes part ineverything. Other days she just sits silently and stares.Carlo is very quick to answer and to finish his work.
Teachers´ experience of differencesTeachers´ expectations of pupilsStrategies for responding to differentneeds
How different are children?Pupils may differ in their……perception of the language…relationship with the teacher…family background…types of intelligence…interests…gender…attitude and motivation for learning English…experienceTeachers´ experience of differences
Suggestions for managing classes of mixedability children1. Use group teaching2. Give differentiated tasks3. Give attention to different groupsat different times.4. Vary your teaching/ learningmethods to include differentactivities.
Managing classes of mixed ability childrenStrategies:1• Teach children in groups, according toability2• Prepare activities to suit the level of groups3• Vary teaching methods to cater for a rangeof different abilities and styles of learning.
ChallengesI. Time consuming.II. Allocation of time/attention given todifferent groups.III. Insufficient time to cater for all the differentgroups.IV. Difficult to aim the lesson at the right level inthe presentation stage.V. Pupils’ lack of interest or low ability incertain skills and certain types of activity.
Ways of meeting these challengesA. Planning differentiated activities.B. Giving enough time to differentgroups.C. Catering for all the different needs.D. Aiming your lesson at the right level.E. Catering for pupils’ lack of interest orability.
Teachers´ expectations of pupils What is the message of this cartoon? How do your expectations of pupils affect them? How can you avoid labelling pupils?
What is the message of this cartoon? Children are very quick to know how they havebeen labelled or assessed by teachers.How do your expectations of pupils affect them? Teachers are likely to have views and prejudicesabout what children should be like as pupils. Children begin to behave has we expect them to.How can you avoid labelling pupils? Teachers need to find out pupils´ viewsof themselves.
What do labels tell us?Name Type ofpersonalityTypicalbehaviourSpeakingandlisteningskillsReadingand writingskills
Order of ability Possible evidenceKatya: high Very able, listens carefully,creative, ready to answer,interested in everything.Eva: middle Interested and co-operative butsometimes a bit shy, not so goodat speaking.Gabor: low absent-minded, cannotconcentrate, always wants toplay.
Action plan. Procedure:•Choose a pupil who is slow or underachieving.•Focus on this pupil for three or four weeks.•Ask him/her more questions than usual.•Be prepared to wait the answers. Dont give up.•Give plenty of encouraging smiles and showinterest in what he/she says.•Set tasks in which he/she can be successful.•Get him/her to help you in classes.•Keep a diary and write down the pupils reactions.•See if it makes a difference to his/her attitude andbehaviour.
Strategies for responding to different needsDifferent teaching strategies:1. Differentiating activities2. Peer tutoring3. Group teaching
Differentiating Teachers can consider…… Core work for pupils… Reinforcement work for more intensivepractice… Extension work for helping to movepupils further on and to challenge them.
Peer tutoring: “buddies”Children work together with a partner or buddyBuddies are friends.They are there to help you.They support you, not dominate.They help you when you get stuck.They help you to do things for yourself-they do not tell you the answers.
Peer tutoring:Strategy used in activities when the teacherwants slower or weaker pupils to get more helpand support.
Advantages DisadvantagesIt involves pupils in helping each other. Some pairs may not work well together.It may be difficult to pair pupilsappropriately.Both weaker and stronger pupils gainfrom the system, i.e. the weaker pupillearns how to do the task and thestronger pupil learns to think morestrategically in order to help his/ herbuddy.Stronger pupils may be less challenged.Stronger pupils may not necessarily be verygood at helping their peers to learn how todo activities. They may want to give theanswers.Pupils become more involved in thelearning problem.Some pupils may try to dominate theirbuddies.Pupils are learning to be moreindependent.It takes time to train pupils how to workeffectively as buddies. It may be possibleto use this system only for straightforward orroutine types of activity.It is a flexible system which can beused according to need. It allowsdifferent pupils the opportunity to be“buddies” for areas where they haveparticular strengths.Without careful handling by the teacher,this procedure may reinforce a lowerstatus for the weaker students in the class.Weaker pupils will also need opportunitiesto act as “experts”.
Group teaching strategies:The teacher will need:… to be very well organized and plan thelesson carefully.… to develop a proper system formonitoring and checking work done bypupils on their own.… to train pupils to be able to workindependently for a large part of the lesson.
Pupils will need:… to learn how to work more independentlyand to feel confident doing this… to collaborate with each other and helpeach other… to learn to follow instructions… to learn to work quietly so as not to disturbothers
Advantages DisadvantagesIt helps pupils to become moreindependent as learnersIt takes time to train pupils to beindependent.It enables teachers to spend focused tiedaily with different groups of learnersPupils who are not interested or lackingin confidence may disrupt other groups.It ensures that teachers of large classes,in particular, give regular attention todifferent ability groups.It may be very difficult to implement withyoung learners who cannot read andwrite, as many of the independent tasksrely on reading and writing skills.It encourages pupils to collaborate moreand help each other.It means a lot careful planning andpreparation by the teacher.It allows pupils to work at their own paceand be successful at what they do.There may be a tendency for pupils tobe labelled permanently according tothe group they belong to. It may bedifficult for them to progress to anotherability group.
Action plan. Procedure:•Choose one of the three strategies describedbefore.•Try it out with a group of pupils over a period oftwo or three weeks or longer.•Note down aspects which worked well andaspects that did not work well.•Decide what you would do differently next timein order to make it more effective.•Try it out together with another teacher so youcan share experiences.