Научная статья на тему 'Possible problems in mixed-ability classes'

Possible problems in mixed-ability classes Текст научной статьи по специальности «Языкознание и литературоведение»

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Аннотация научной статьи по языкознанию и литературоведению, автор научной работы — Mahmanazarova Feruza

Generally mixed-ability grouping means within the same context randomly chosen students gathered in one class regardless of their abilities or achievements in the subject concerned. However there are two terms to describe such groups. The first is mixed-ability and the second isheterogeneous. This article states the problems connected with the very type of classes.

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Текст научной работы на тему «Possible problems in mixed-ability classes»

prepositions which otherwise appear unrelated. The difficulty of learning prepositions is not only true of English but also extends to other languages. A study with two learner groups to find out which method was better between cognitive linguistic approach or learning individual prepositional usage. Since cognitive linguistic approach launches with Protypical meaning and extends to metaphorical or allied meanings, it has proved to be much useful, more effective, longer retention and with dramatically less efforts than traditional assimilation the hard way [2]. Cognitive linguistic approach —allows teachers to point out the relationships between different uses of a preposition and describe patterns of meaning extension, as opposed to telling learners to simply memorize each use as an individual item. In this way, learners will hopefully be more aware of the expressive range of a preposition. The results were even noted by her that the group which is taught via cognitive linguistic approach fared well in post training test and delayed post training test. This clearly shows that semantic-based teaching expedites the result of instant grasping and prolonged retention for timely recall.

Total Physical Response Preposition Activity

During this activity, you can ask your student or students to place various objects or move around the classroom by using prepositions [3]. For example, ask them to put a book on a desk, under the desk, inside the desk, if it is possible. There is a more active alternative for younger students, where they can hide under the desk or behind the desk, stand in front of the desk, etc. This is a fun way to teach younger learners to learn prepositions of place and prepositions of direction.


1. Bland K. S. (2004). Grammar Sense. Oxford University Press, USA.

2. Lindstromberg S. (1998). English prepositions explained. UK.

3. Yates. J. (1991). The ins and outs of prepositions. -Barron's, USA.



Abstract: generally mixed-ability grouping means within the same context randomly chosen students gathered in one class regardless of their abilities or achievements in the subject concerned. However there are two terms to describe such groups. The first is mixed-ability and the second isheterogeneous. This article states the problems connected with the very type of classes.

Keywords: mixed ability classes, discussions, problem-solving tasks, age, gender, personality.

In teaching process several problems can occur. As she states that students vary in the following main differences which cause problems in language learning in heterogeneous classes: language knowledge, cultural background, learning style, attitude towards language, mother tongue, intelligence, world knowledge, learning experience, knowledge of other languages, age, gender, personality, confidence, motivation, interests, educational level [3, P.32.]. Moreover she defined and clarified other problems which occur in mixed-ability classes [1]:

1. Discipline

She explains the problems in detail and the first problem is without any doubt the discipline (classroom management). We often find mixed-ability classes chaotic and difficult to control. The differences in language ability cause either boredom of more advanced learners or disconcertion of weaker students, who often are lost in the lessons. For that reason we might feel incapable of controlling the class; while we are occupied by certain students, usually weaker ones, who need more extensive explanations, the rest of the class might begin to feel without being supervised and thus switching into a mother tongue and discussing issues which are not related to the content of the lesson.

2. Interests

Another crucial problem of mixed-ability classes is the students' interests. This issue is directly related to different language ability. While more advanced learners prefer communicative activities, discussions, problem-solving tasks etc, weaker students, who are not confident about their speaking skills, would rather spend time on activities which do not require their spoken interaction or active participation in communicative tasks. Another problem leading to the conflict of students' interests may occur in language schools. Whereas some students enroll in the course to relax and have fun, there may be people who need English for more important reasons, such as to pass an exam, for work etc. This results in difficulties with the choice of activities too.

3. Effective learning for all

In mixed-ability classes, it is extremely difficult to provide effective learning for all. The activities to be completed in the lessons may be either too difficult or too easy for some students. For that reason, there will always be learners who would not take any benefit from some activities.

4. Materials

Another problematic issue is the choice of materials. Since course books are always homogenous - aimed at one kind of learner with no options or flexibility (, it is necessary to adapt materials to the needs of all learners.

5. Individual awareness

As Hess says, "we would like to allow each of our students to find his/ her preferred and unique way and pace of learning." However, teaching a mixed-ability class represents a situation, where there are too many differences to be taken in consideration, which makes it difficult to devote time and attention equally to all students.

6. Participation

A typical situation in a mixed-ability environment is that when only a few people, usually stronger ones, participate. The rest of class tries to look invisible in order not to be asked a question. To be blind to weaker students and not involving those in a classroom interaction only deepens their language deficits.

Except these problems there are also main factors which influence on the effective lesson. Teachers construct differentiated classrooms in varying ways depending on their own personalities, the nature of the subject and grade level they teach, and the learning profiles of their students [2]. These teachers have at least two things in common, however: a conviction that students differ in their learning needs and a belief that classrooms in which students are active learners, decision makers, and problem solvers are more natural and effective than those in which students are passive recipients of information.

Concluding all facts, the research revealed that the main way of solving the problem of students differences and involve all of them into effective language learning is adapting speaking materials for each level of students.


1. Harlen M. (1992). Classroom Dynamics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2. KellyA.V. (1974). Teaching mixed ability classes: an individualized approach. London: Harper & Row Ltd.

3. Ur P. (1991). A Course in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.



Abstract: this article describes the innovative and interesting methods teaching English language. This article characterizes combining two types which are traditional and modern methods of teaching and how we can make our teaching very effective Keywords: atmosphere, evaluated, traditional, modern, Innovative.

The teaching of foreign languages are done traditional or slightly teacher-centered methods rather than modern student- centered applications and techniques while the transmission of knowledge and information has been realized with the usual form of lectures or discussions requiring physical presence of both student and the teacher. Furthermore the teaching methods used may differ in terms of the degree of influence on active learning.

The aim of this article is to analyze the traditional and innovative methods for teaching and learning the foreign language as well as to reveal and prove a set of effective pedagogical conditions for learning languages.

We can turn our attention to the comprehensive description of the key words , "traditional methodology" and "modern methodology".

One of the aims of any methodology in foreign language teaching is to improve the foreign language ability of the student.

However , traditional methodology is based largely on a reduction of the integrated process of using a foreign language. Very typical feature of traditional methodology is the teacher - dominated interaction. The teaching is deeply teacher-centered [3]. Unlike traditional methodology, modern methodology is much more student-centered. The teacher's main role is to help learning to happen, which includes involving students in what is going on by enabling them to work at their own speed, by not giving long explanations, by encouraging them to participate, talk, interact, and do things [2].

Broughton adds that the language student is best motivated by practice in which he senses the language is truly communicative that it is appropriate to its context, that his teacher's skills are moving him forward to a fuller competence in a foreign language [1, P.33.].

In a fact, students are the most active element in the process. The teacher is here not to explain but to encourage and help students to explore make learning interesting.

Jim Scrivener suggested the most popular or the most common methods in modern teaching are [2, P.12]:

• Match the words with the pictures

• Check the meaning of these words in the dictionary

• Match the words with the definitions

• Brainstorm words on a set topic

• Divide these words into two groups

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