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Mixed Ability Class Chart

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Mixed Ability Class Chart

  1. 1. YOUNG LEARNERS’ SIG 1st SEMESTER 2010 March 20th THE YL MIXED ABILITY CLASSES Tick the most frequent problems you face when teaching YL mixed ability classes: ( ) Some students finish activities fast while others take a life time. ( ) ‘Stronger’ students participate more than others. ( ) I don’t how to ‘level’ the activities. ( ) ‘Stronger’ students get bored or disturb while you explain and/or develop activities with ‘weaker’ ones. ( ) Some students seem not to get involved. ( ) Some students seem to block when you start speaking English. ( ) I don’t know how to split them for group work (weaker x stronger, motivated x unmotivated, etc). ( ) Some students don’t even try. ( ) Some students like moving, others like quieter activities. What’s a mixed  Different learning Styles ability class?  Different linguistic levels  Different background  Different intelligences  Different motivation  Different personality/ interests  Lack of Strategies What are the adv. ADVANTAGES DISADVANTANGES and disadv of MA • It forces teachers to think about differences and take it into • It demands time and extra work. classes? account. • Grouping ss is not always easy. • Ss learn from each other and exchange experiences • Some teachers feel guilty about ‘judging’ ss and accepting ss are not • Teachers don’t only teach language, but also moral skills. ‘equal’ and do not learn in the same speed and way. • Ss learn to share and respect others as unique beings. • Some students feel overloaded with extra work. • Ss learn to deal with differences. • There is too much to be taken into consideration. • Ss are motivated for being challenged in an achievable way. • Adapting and organizing activities demand discipline from teachers. • Little time with students in class to really get to know them. When you get to ‘the’ point, it is time to say goodbye. How to change to a • Estabilish eye contact mixed ability • Nominate students to answer questions lesson? • Ask easy questions to weaker students
  2. 2. • Monitor • Use checking questions for understanding • Praise students • Set a limit time before they begin • Bring topics of interest • Balance different kinds of activities • Cater for different learning Styles • Know your ss learning level: What are they able to do? • Give feedback • Assess their progress, not a single ‘test’. • Have contingency plans. • Give them some choice to choose things in class. • Be explicit about why not all are doing the same thing • Balance is the key word • Give clear instructions • Create stations in class and/or files with needs How to cope with Grading activities (ss work on the same material but on different challenges and activities) mixed ability Having activities with different responses (ss work in groups to get different responses from different students) classes? Open-ended activities: the same activity with different responses: journals, choosing vocab to learn, question lists, wall crawl Adapting Extending/ Grading Co-operation and Peer Questioning Why? Why? Why? Fit students’ needs All students are challenged Learning from ‘equals’ and/or a peer Meet students’ needs All students may succeed Lowering affective filter. How? How? How?  Changing the activity level (easy –  Proposing different questions and  Grouping sts well accordingly – you must medium – hard) different kinds of activities know them well  Changing the topic according to sts’  Having different hand-outs interests  Having stations in class (easy – medium – hard – early finishers) Look back to the problems. Can you find ‘solutions’ for them?
  3. 3. Here you have some food for thought…  Including X Excluding  Mixed-ability classes X Classroom management

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