The Mixed Ability Class Essay

1209 words - 5 pages

The mixed ability classIntroduction:Working with a mixed ability class is one of the most challenging tasks a teacher has to face in her career.It is very difficult to cope with the problems of this type of groups.Being a teacher means primarily working with people, leading these humans'learning process to reach a previous determined objective. To achieve this objective, teachers prepare, beforehand, a syllabus according to their own expectations and aims. The syllabus is generally based on the age, level and the characteristics of the students but this project is then carried out in the classroom and with the students. It is there,where the plan will turn out to be successful or not. The syllabus success usually depends on how much consideration the teacher takes in thinking that her students are not identical persons. No matter if they are of the same age, if they have the same level of fluency or knowledge, if they come from similar cultural and family backgrounds, they are human beings and thus they are different. Each one of them has a different expectation about the teacher, the subject and the way they want to learn.Whenever a teacher enters a classroom,her first impression is that of variety, a group of people with different physical characteristics. This impression is deepened when the teacher gets to know her pupils personally, and it goes further when she learns how different they are, also in their own learning. And when I say learning, I mean an endless list of items, such as behaviour in the class, pace, participation,and cooperation among many others.All groups, at one point or another, are mixed ability classes, for the simple reason that they are formed by people.In this work I will explain the characteristics of a mixed ability class, the different types of students that can be present in the classrooms, the problems that this variety might cause and the possible solutions to these problems.Characteristics of a mixed ability class:When I refer to mixed ability classes, I mean classes which are formed by a heterogeneous group of students. The distinctive characteristics which may cause a great variety of problems are: a clear difference in the language level, in the learning style, speed and aptitude towards language; differences in the background knowledge and different levels of motivation.(Richmond Publishing/The mixed ability class/Julie Tice.)As regards language level, students are good at different skills, some excell in writing and reading while others enjoy listening and reading best. Some are very good at grammar and their knowledge of vocabulary is excellent but they may have great difficulties in pronouncing words correctly. The variety of drawbacks at this level can be and, it surely is enormous.In the same class, there are usually students who pick up everything you teach fast; but there are others who have a great difficulty in learning new things, they are slower, their pace for acquiring new items of language is...

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