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MIXED-ABILITY CLASS How to teach heterogeneous groups.

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Presentation on theme: "MIXED-ABILITY CLASS How to teach heterogeneous groups."— Presentation transcript:

1 MIXED-ABILITY CLASS How to teach heterogeneous groups

2 H ETEROGENEOUS /M IXED - ABILITY CLASS : It is a group in which children of varied abilities are taught together rather than being set apart in groups according to level.

3 A DAPTING MATERIALS FOR MIXED - ABILITY CLASSES CAN TAKE DIFFERENT FORMS : Rewrite reading texts and grade the language accordingly for different levels. However it is extremely time consuming and not many teachers can actually go to this lenght to adapt materials. A danger that children will instantly realise that they have been labelled as a weak or strong student.

4 READING Stronger students : - rewrite a part of the text in a different tense/person - write their personal opinion/a summary of the text - write question about the text - write new vocabulary up on the board with definitions Weaker students: - if there are gaps, give students the answers in a jumbled order - break the text into chunks and give the opinion of only reading some of the texts - pre-teach difficult vocabulary and leave it written on the board for students to refer to

5 LISTENING Stronger: - focus on the accents or of the speakers and get students to copy chunks - if it´s a true/false activity, follow on by asking why/why not? - give out the tape script and look up tricky words/expressions in a dictionary to then explain to the group Weaker: - pre-teach vocabulary, use visual if possible - give them time to discuss answers before feeding back to the class - give them the tape script on second listening - if it´s a gap fill, supply the words with a few extras

6 WRITING Stronger: - give creative tasks that students can do at their own level - increase the word limit - indicate where they could use more interesting ways of saying something - indicate mistakes using correction code to give students a chance to self correct Weaker: - reduce the word limit - encourage use of dictionaries - correct the draft together before students copy up it - pair or group weaker students with stronger students

7 SPEAKING Stronger: - ask students to justify/defend their opinions - ban easy words like „nice“ to push their vocabulary to a higher level - get students to record themselves and self-correct - pair students of higher level together so they really go for it Weaker: - give them time to rehearse their ideas before a role play or discussion - pair weak and strong together - let them make notes before the speaking - give them more listening and thinking time before calling on them to answer questions

8 T IPS FOR GOOD CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT WITH M-A GROUPS :  GROUPING: - depending on the task and the class dynamics - there are usually opportunities for both types of grouping - to experiment with mixing up the strong and weak students

9  GIVING INSTRUCTIONS: - giving clear instructions - use hand gestures as well as words to explain the tasks - use stronger students to check back the instructions

10  ERROR CORRECTION: - don´t over correct weak students - encourage students to correct one another

11  SETTING GOALS: - it will help to focus the students - the goals can be different for each student and depending on their level

12 SOME STRATEGIES:  DISCUSSION AND NEEDS ANALYSIS: - have an open class discussion about the classroom situation - to ensure the best for everyone - to agree how to deal with it - it is the best to stage and structure the discussion - to prompt the students to reflect upon their learning style, learning strategies, language needs, enjoyment, motivation, language strenght and weaknesses

13 Q UESTIONS : What kinds of class activities do you enjoy/benefit from? Which language skills do you most wish to develop? Do you prefer working individually or with a partner? Would you rather sit and listen to the teacher all lesson or participate in group work?

14  STUDENT SELF-AWARENESS: - encourage students to develop an awareness of their own language abilities and learning needs

15  RANGE OF TASKS: - this involves creating or providing tasks for different levels

16  EXTRA WORK/HOMEWORK: - give different students different homework - for weaker students HW which really does consolidate the class work - for stronger students work that will widen their knowledge or put it to the test a little more – they need the feedback - writing tasks are great for HW

17  ERROR CORRECTION: - have different expectation of the language the different students produce - it can push stronger students if you correct them heavily, although be sensitive about it! - for weaker students, be more selective in your error correction

18  WORK GROUPINGS: You may consider dividing your class into groups by level for the whole lesson, enabling you to give a different level or number of tasks to each group

19 - PAIR WORK: strong with strong, weak with weak or strong with weak – variety in the pairings is the key - GROUP WORK: groups could be of mixed levels or similar ones - WHOLE CLASS-MINGLES: is a favoured strategy. Involves students talking/interacting with many different members of the class in a short period of time in order to achieve a task -> this supports the weaker students and provides opportunities for the stronger ones


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