I am writing this because I am preparing a presentation on the positive
aspects of "Teaching Mixed Ability Classses". I am interested in finding out what you think of this topic.
I wonder if you could respond to the following?:
1. How would you define mixed ability classes?
2. Are there any advantages to teaching mixed ability classes? If so, what are they?
Thanking you in advance for your cooperation,
I´ve recently had a trainig on mixed ability class. I hope my comments may be of some help.
MIxed group is a solution for keeping a reliable average number of students in class. We were first instructed to make the students aware of the benefits of a mixed group once this class setting isn´t so common in teaching in our country. So the first thing you should let your students know the benefits of mixed class.For lower skilled students It is a way of learning a language just as we learn when living abroad. We´ve got to use strategies like coping, repeating paying attention how the upper level student perform. For the upper levels it is a way to control their knowledge by making themselves understood by the lower ones. You should focus on tasks prepared according to each level of student. I see the mixed level approach as strong tendency in English teaching. I think in a near future we will all have kind of class as current methodology and not as a new one.
I would go so far as to say that any group of students is a mixed-ability class. Mixed ability does not only refer to a talent for learning English, but can refer to disabilities, learning styles, different motivations, different previous learning experiences, different interests etc.
An advantage to learners of being in a mixed-ability class is that they meet people with different needs, backgrounds, motivations etc. The teacher will have to use a wide variety of teaching methods to appeal to all learners, so the students benefit from this variety.
An advantage to teachers of teaching a mixed-ability class is that they have to vary the activities they do; if they rely heavily on listening exercises, for example, this will disadvantage those with hearing problems or those who learn more easily by looking at the written word.So, teachers' experience broadens and they become more creative.
Thank you very much for your opinion.I totally agree with you.
We can say that mixed ability classes is a "Fact".So it is found in all the classes ,but then the level will vary from one group to another.For example,dealing with an "A"level group will totally be diffrent than teaching a first year group that has diverse levels like A,C,and repeaters in terms of the mixed ability teaching strategies.
Both students and teachers benefit positively from mixed ability classes.There is much to say here and I agree with your points.
Amina Al Hashamia