Stages of classroom investigation identifying the teacher

Teaching Tips - Mixed Ability Classes

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Stages of classroom investigation identifying the teacher

Teaching Tips - Mixed Ability Classes

As busy teachers it is easy to get stuck in a rut. Our Teaching Tips are aimed at those of you who are teaching and are looking for some new ideas or activities to use in their classes. Our teaching tips will feature in the Language Teacher Education (LTE) newsletter and will be posted on the Teacher’s Resources page on the Wits Language School website.

If you have any teaching tips or ideas that you would like to share with us, or questions please send them to Georgina.

Teaching Mixed Ability Classes
Georgina Ma

What are mixed ability classes? 
Mixed ability or ‘heterogeneous’ classes are terms used to describe classes made up of students of different levels of proficiency. These terms are misleading as no two learners are really alike and ‘homogeneous’ classes do not actually exist (Ur, 1991). All classes are to some degree made up of learners who differ in many ways. They may have different strengths, weaknesses and approaches to learning. They may respond differently to various teaching methods and classroom situations. 
In this article, I cover mixed ability factors, the problems with and advantages of teaching mixed ability classes as well as strategies for teachers who teach mixed ability classes.
Mixed Ability Factors
There are many factors that influence the characteristics of the learners that make up one single class. Some of these factors include: 

Possible problems teachers may face
Teachers may encounter a number of problems when teaching in mixed ability environments. These are some comments made by teachers about their experiences of teaching mixed ability classes: 

Richmond Publishing

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