Adapting Materials to Teach Mixed-ability Classes

Conference: The Paris Conference on Education (PCE2022)
Title: Adapting Materials to Teach Mixed-ability Classes
Stream: Foreign Languages Education & Applied Linguistics (including ESL/TESL/TEFL)
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Sara Berrandjia, University of Constantine III, Algeria


Language-teaching classes are commonly made up of students with varying proficiency levels making the promotion for equity among students more challenging for teachers. Indeed, teachers are quickly overwhelmed when handling heterogeneous classes. Therefore, appropriate adaptive teaching strategies are needed when addressing such a complex scenario. That is, in the case of multi-ability classes, using existing materials as they are without examining them critically, will not enhance students’ opportunities for developing their learning. In this paper, we aim to explore the efficiency of adapting materials to teach mixed-ability classes. We investigate the strategies which allow teachers to properly adapt their teaching materials to the individual students' needs when in heterogeneous classes and pinpoint the elements that they should focus on when doing so. In this study, we collected data based on a questionnaire that was distributed online to twenty-two English teachers at various secondary schools in the city of Constantine, Algeria. The questionnaire addressed different factors related to the issue of mixed-ability classes, including identifying students’ learning styles, motivating students, and grading activities. We applied a rating scale of five statements to a total number of thirty secondary level pupils who are taught using adapted materials. We used descriptive analysis to examine the data of both research tools. The obtained results indicate that teaching classes of differentiated levels is a complex process that requires using diversified strategies. Materials adaptation was found to be among the most effective ways to bridge the gap between same-class students that are of different proficiency levels.

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