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ESL forum > Techniques and methods in Language Teaching > Heterogeneity: what are your tips?    

Heterogeneity: what are your tips?


Heterogeneity: what are your tips?

Dear fellow teachers,

One of the most important challenges we teachers of English  have to face  is undoubtedly dealing with heterogeneous groups, particularly  when it comes to adults who, very often, differ in many respects (the backgrounds, the learning experiences, the native language as well as the other spoken languages,  the exposure to English, the age, the motivation(s)... among many other factors.

With time and experience I can even say that heterogeneity is inevitable whatever the context, even with the most sophisticated placement tests designed to place learners in appropriate groups...
Some learners progress faster, others not,  and, later or earlier, the supposed-to-be homogeneous groups will become  more or less heterogeneous
Such a complex issue cannot be ignored by any teacher, otherwise some learners might be bored, others  lost etc

I will really appreciate if you all can share your  tips related to this problem with us

What I myself usually do is a set of different things:
- work in groups, whenever it īs possible, where each group is lead by a brilliant learner
- give the brilliant learners  more challenging stuff to do, and this is where ESL printable worksheets, for instance,  can particularly be useful (this can be reading  comprehension activities, grammar or vocabulary quizzes or anything else, which are done in parallel with lesson and  corrected later)   

Thank you so much everyone

10 Mar 2009