Teach English in FAngjiAzhuAng Zhen - Tianjin

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Classes of mixed abilityWhen teaching to a group, it is often that the class will have students of mixed ability. Even for absolute beginner courses, there may be some who falsely claim as absolute beginners but in fact are false beginners who would like to start all over. There are some organizations who like to use placement tests but even with the use of these systems, the classes will to a degree, still have mixed ability students. Definition of mixed ability class The definition for mixed ability class given by Ireson & Hallam (2001), suggest teachers need to recognise that a class is mixed ability because students have different strengths and weaknesses and develop at different rates. With this in mind, it is inevitable that when teaching english to non-native speakers, there will always be classes of mixed abilities in which the teacher must acknowledge. Mixed ability Teaching With classes of mixed ability, it is important that the Teacher recognizes this and adapts his/her style to suit the abilities of the students. A mixed ability class can effectively be taught if the teacher accepts that every lesson cannot be whole class teaching, strictly from a text book, with lessons controlled from the front. The lessons must be varied and create interest to help motivate not just the strong students in the class. The teacher must integrate the students in the engage, study and activate stage and will work if all pupils are allowed to experience success and learn from their own mistakes. Encouragement and praise must be used by the teacher so to help strengthen their confidence in english. Furthermore, students must also be able to learn as individuals and at their own pace. This is less likely to happen if teachers insist on whole class teaching and teaching to the average student as it is unrealistic to expect a group of varying abilities to work through a body of work at exactly the same pace. Methodology for teaching students of mixed abilities To teach mixed ability classes, the students must be taught to be effective learners. Goals must be set at the start of the class and that the students understand the goals and what is going to be ahead of them and what is expected of them. The teacher will also need to teach the students to think for themselves, to be resourceful, organized, adopt learning strategies and to be able to pace themselves during the course. As there are varying types of abilities in the class, the teacher would require to offer variety in his/her lesson plan so to cater the different learning styles of the students. For example, some students are good listeners, whereas some are good speakers. Conclusion To effectively teach classes of mixed ability, the teaching would need to recognize that he/she is required to adapt his teaching methods and lesson plans. The teacher would need to use mixed ability teaching in the classroom to cater for a wide range of student?s abilities. The fact that all students have individual needs, learning preferences, motivation and coupled with different abilities, underpins how important the teaching role is. With training to inform teachers about catering for the different variables of mixed ability classes, teachers can then facilitate the learning so that whole class teaching does not dominate most lessons and that students are taught how to resource and take responsibility for their own learning. Once a teacher has these skills, then classes with mixed ability will benefit immensely.