Department of English Language and Literature

Teaching Heterogeneous Classes in Practice
Master´s Theses

Brno 2008

Author: Regina Pospíšilová AlenaKašpárková

Supervisor: PhDr.


I declare that I have written my diploma theses myself and listed all the used sources in the enclosed list of references. ……………………………… Regina Pospíšilová


I would like to express my thanks to PhDr. Alena Kašpárková, who kindly assisted my aspiration with this project. Her advice and encouragement while supervising this diploma theses were immensely helpful.


..39 Specification of the Class Where the Lessons Were Taught.......1 The Concept of Individualization...................................42 Lesson plans..............................2..........................2.....2 The Need for an Achievement..Table of Contents Author: Supervisor:.......................................1 Competitive Activities.............................2 Psychological Theories Behind Motivation ..12 3......................................................2 Pair and Group Activities ......... notes and evaluations........1 Closed Activities...................2 Types of Activities Used in Class...2 Activities According to the Number of Students Working Together.1 The Reinforcement ..8 1 Mixed-ability/ Heterogenous Classes..........................................................................30 6.............47 2 World Food Day (October 16)......19 5..............2..11 3......................................................................................1 Definition.........................................44 1........................................................... AlenaKašpárková....................................19 5...............2 Multiple Intelligences ....37 Facilitator ..........................................15 5 Teaching in a Heterogeneous Class.............12 3................2 Open-Ended Activities....................................5 Myers-Briggs Type Indicator................3....................8 2 Reasons for Differences Between Learners ...............................................................................................6 VAK...2 Differentiated Instructions.............1 Homogeneous Groups Within One Class........................................................................................................................3 Perceptual Styles........................................................................36 Formal Authority ......................................................1 Definition and Kinds of Motivation...........................................................................3 Setting Tasks According to the Learning Styles of Individual Learners............................11 3.....................................2...................................................................................2..........................................................................27 6......................................................................................1 Introduction...............44 1.......................................2.......................................................................................2 Lesson notes and evaluation .........44 1 International Deaf People´s Day (September 24)..................................................................................................................................................12 3............................................2.............1 Lesson plan – 90 min...........1 Activities According to the Students´ Roles.........................................................2........................................................................2 Cooperative Activities.............2.........24 5..23 5..............................................................................................................................................13 4 The Teacher...29 6...........26 6 Learning Styles................32 7 Teaching Styles...............3...................................37 Delegator....................................................................................................................................................23 5......................4 Honey&Mumford Learning Styles.......................1 Individual Activities.................1 Regina Pospíšilová PhDr..............19 5......................................................22 5....................................................................................................................................................................................24 5...........3 Activities According to the Expected Result........................................................31 6...............9 3 Motivation.....................3...........................................26 6........1......36 Demonstrator or Personal Model.............17 5............................................21 5......2........1...................................................................22 5........................2.......2......................................49 4 .37 Summary of the Theoretical Part................3........................................................................3 Clasroom Management in Heterogeneous Classes.................................................2.............6 Theoretical Part.......................................23 5.......26 6...............................2..17 5.................................................................................................................................................22 5...............................................................................3..........................................................................................................3 How the Theories Combine..............................................................................................................................25 5.................................

.......................1 Lesson plan – 90 min.................................................................................................53 3 International Day for Tolerance (November 16)......1 Lesson plan – 90 min............................................................................................................................2 Lesson notes and evaluation...........78 2 World Food Day......1 Lesson plan – 90 min....................................................................................................................................................................................78 5 ....................................................................................................2................2 Lesson notes and evaluation....55 3............................61 4.......................................................................................................................................78 5 Earth Day...............................................................66 5...................................49 2..........69 List of Appendices................61 4...................................................78 4 World Water Day...........................................78 1 International Deaf People´s Day...................................................................................................1 Lesson plan – 90 min................................................................................55 3......................................................................................................................................................................................................64 5 Earth Day (April 22)......................................................49 Instructions:............................................2 Lesson notes and evaluation ....................59 4 World Water Day (March 22)............78 3 International Day for Tolerance................................................................................2 Lesson notes and evaluation.............................66 5............................

English has not been a compulsory part of the secondary school-leaving exam (maturita) yet.e. The theoretical part deals with the methodology and aspects of the issue – i. Firstly. The thesis will be devided in two parts – a theoretical part and practical part. The students come to the class from different schools. Students´and teachers´ as the members of the process are looked at. The ways of teaching that would be the most appropriate and efficient for mixed ability classes is one of the issues nowadays widely disscussed by the teaching community.or more currently ´heterogeneous´ class. The choice of the field and topic is affected by my practical experience of 6-year´s period of teaching intensive language courses for young adults after they have finished their secondary school education. Such class is in methodology call a mixed ability . Secondly. Students´needs and ways of trying to meet them are presented together with several views of learning styles. Their mixed level of knowledge regarding English is among other things a result of two factors. even though a part of the students coming to the course have passed the same exam. the state form of the school-leaving exam which would unite the level of the knowledge needed for passing this exam is still only a suggestion in the process of testing. 6 .Introduction The field of interest of this work is methodology. specifically teaching mixed ability classes and creating materials for such classes. Therefore. they have done so at different schools and consequently the level of these students´ English varies greatly. thus the students who did not choose English as their exam subject had probably been much less motivated to pay attention to it during the studies. These students tend to show a weaker performance in the class. Motivation and its role in the process of learning and teaching are discussed. It explains what are the causes of the differences between students´ abilities.

The lesson plans are accompanied by either completely original or adjusted worksheets and materials. All lesson plans are connected with days of international dedication (e. I believe the lesson plans might serve as a source of activities or at least inspiration for other teachers of similar courses. secondly I have chosen days which come in different months of the year. World Day for Water. The specific days were chosen with two criterias in mind: firstly I have tried to choose days dedicated to issues which I feel the students´ should be aware of.The practical part contains five 90-minutes lesson plans taylored for teaching heterogeneous classes including activities based on the methodology described in the theoretical part. 7 .g. As an important part of m the project was to try all the newly created activities in my class. comments on how successfully they were realised and if anything should be handled differently are presented. March 22).

The students in language schools are usually placed in courses/classes according to the results of an entrance test where they have to prove their knowledge of English. the relevance of the division of the applicants depends on other factors as well. As Harlen and Malcolm (1997) explain in their research.Theoretical Part 1 Mixed-ability/ Heterogenous Classes The concept of so-called mixed-ability classes was not originally connected with teaching English as a second or foreign language. The term first referred to what was seen as a contrast to classes where streaming had been performed.g. What is more. 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. On the other hand. Their momentary knowledge of the subject is about the same but some may have spent much more time or/and may have needed to make a lot more effort to reach that level than others. e. on the objectivity of the test (if it is a multiple choice test the possibility of gaining more points not by showing the particular knowledge but by being 8 . Apart from streaming the term setting appears in the same period. the entrance tests concentrate on the students´ level of English and as such do not provide the teacher with the information considering the students´ general abilities to learn new words. Further studies showed that it has negative effects on the students’ performance in the secondary schools. to study or to make progress in learning a language. particularly in a language school. the intended topic of this paper is mixed-ability classes in connection with teaching and learning English as a foreign language. streaming is a term that describes the method of dividing pupils to classes based on the assessment of their general ability. Streaming was popular in Britain in the 1960s. Setting means the regrouping of pupils based on their ability in the particular subject. consequently it became less and less popular in the primary schools and it eventually disappeared during the 1970s and 1980s. to express themselves. However. From what has been said so far we would say these classes are rather ´set´ than ´mixed-ability ´ as the students who eventually meet in one classroom have passed their entrance tests with the same or very similar outcomes.

a student´s negativity towards learning and school generally. Another bio-psychological parameter is intelligence. Temperament itself includes aspects such as the activity level. Bio-psychological causes are closely linked with the student´s health and mental conditions. intensity of emotion. the parent s´view of the importance of one´s achieved education. The reasons are numerous. Psychology offers its explanation for successful or unsuccessful performance of learners at schools and education generally. psychologists specializing in developmental psychology have proved that a human being is formed partly genetically by inheriting genes of his/her ancestors and partly through the environment he/she grows up in and experience. distractibility. mood. Kohoutek (2006) explains that there are three types of underlying causes: social psychological. 24) presents insufficient development of interest. etc. initial reaction. intellectual passivity – underachieving (student´s results are lower 9 . and sensory sensitivity. 2 Reasons for Differences Between Learners Beside the facts mentioned above. biopsychological and intra-psychical. adaptability. We are speaking about the cultural background.). persistence and attention span. regularity of sleeping and eating patterns. the position of the student in the family. Social psychological causes are connected with the student´s family and school background. p. As examples of intra-psychical causes of poor class performance Kohoutek (2006.lucky having chosen the correct answer and reaching a little higher level is always there) or on the number of courses available at a particular school (if the teacher can divide 30 students into three classes of ten the range of their knowledge within one class will be more similar than if there are only two classes with 15 students each as in the first case the teacher actually has three different levels to choose from while in the second he/she has only two). One of the bio-psychological elements of personality is for example temperament. general situation in the family and the relationships.

We can see here that aptitude correlates with the bio-psychological aspects. values and dispositions to act in certain ways. Taking all this into account we can only come to the conclusion that in this sense literally all classes are mixed-ability ones. were listed so that the reader realizes that the elements affecting students´ outcomes are ample. no matter how little the level of knowledge of the subject in concern varies at the moment the class meet for the first time.than he/she actually could achieve regarding his capabilities. a gifted student can have a poor attitude. speed of learning etc. Clearly. The definition of attitude is presented on Wikipedia as follows: Attitude :A complex mental state involving beliefs.) As the most important element of one´s relationship to learning and school Kohoutek sees attitude. All these causes of students´ variant school performance and the extent to which the performance is satisfactory or not. 10 . Attitude affects a student’s ability to learn. This subject will be discussed more in the chapter on motivation. or in more up-to-date jargon heterogeneous. To find two people who are very similar in appearance is possible but to find two people with the same reactions to various mental stimuli is not. people have different ways of thinking. the possibility for the teacher to influence the individual student´s family background or aptitude and health condition is negligible. On the other hand the teacher is still left with the large field of the student ´s attitude he/she can work on. feelings. To complete the definition of attitude I decided to include the definition of aptitude from the same source as well: Aptitude: The rate at which a student can learn a language. but is unrelated to aptitude. To conclude this chapter. based on raw talent. different learning styles. Aptitude does not seem to be related to attitude.

One can be motivated positively (i. that affects the way and speed people learn in is motivation. the more motivated the student is the harder he/she will work to learn. Such a statement is rather simplified though. ´If I do something – succeed in completing a task . Snowman and Biehler (1997) declare that to describe a student as unmotivated is not accurate since anybody who chooses a goal (even if it is avoiding participation in a task) and uses a certain amount of effort to achieve it must be. and continuation of behavior” (Biehler & Snowman.1 Definition and Kinds of Motivation One of the most important aspects. if not the crucial one. Within the frame of school environment a reward might mean teacher´s praise or a good mark. here English. p. In the explanation of the extrinsic motivation the word ´pressures´ and ´rewards´ appeared. selection. 1997. Various researches and works published on this issue describe two different kinds of motivation: extrinsic motivation – the reasons for one´s behaviour and effort to be made come from the outside. typically defined as “the forces that account for the arousal.e.I will get a reward´) or negatively (i. 399).e. pressures and punishment might mean negative evaluation. A student motivated to study is a student who has found his/her reason to study and the effort the student makes to learn something is in direct proportion with the level of motivation.3 Motivation 3. the drivers of such motivation being rewards or pressures or intrinsic motivation with the driver being one´s belief that this is the right thing to do from his/her own point of view or in other words the student wants to satisfy his/her own needs. according to the definition 11 . A teacher upon his arrival to the classroom faces a group of students who are highly or mildly motivated or unmotivated to participate in the activities he/she has prepared for them depending on whether the students have or do not have their reasons to learn the particular subject. direction. ´If I do not do something – fail completing a task – I will be punished´). bad marks and parents´ disappointment.

Skinner) developed and proved a theory that learning is increased by reinforcement – if certain behaviour is rewarded than the rewarded individual tends to repeat the behavior maybe even more willingly and with more enthusiasm next time. The individual´s behavior is being shaped through a system of reinforcement – a reward or punishment . through experiments focused on methods animals and men use to learn scientists (esp. Thus the teacher´s task is to change the students´ motivation direction.and the individual is motivated to behave in a certain way.2 The Need for an Achievement The need for an achievement is another aspect Snowman and Biehler (1997) include in the chapter on motivation. effort etc. 3. 12 . participation.2. Here I would like to present shortly two psychological theories which have been already applied to teaching. motivated. a teacher wants to direct students´ motivation towards learning thus learning (a correct answer produced.) should be rewarded – the simplest reward being praise. 3. F. On the contrary. Atkinson who explored this area in the early 1960s. They explain the thought of John W. The connection between this proved theory and teaching is logical. To be able to ride out the change it is helpful for the teacher to know the basis of the psychology behind motivation. if certain behavior is punished then the individual would try to avoid such behavior in future. B. The problem a teacher faces therefore is the fact that students are motivated to behave in a way dissonant with his/her plan or desire.above.2.2 Psychological Theories Behind Motivation 3.1 The Reinforcement Shortly said.

However each individual has a different level of the need for an achievement. The difficulty of a task an individual is prepared to fulfill depends on his/her expectation of success. People with a high need for an achievement are willing to deal with harder tasks as their expectations of success are strong and they are not afraid of failure. By reinforcement a person´s behavior is being shaped. appreciation. Obviously. Imagine a student experiencing success on numerous occasions in a subject – the student´s behavior brings him/her the reward of feeling positively about him/herself thus the student´s self-esteem grows and simultaneously grows the need for achievement.John W.3 How the Theories Combine We have already looked into the theory of reinforcement and it has been mentioned that reinforcement might be positive – a reward – to support certain behavior or negative – a punishment – to suppress certain behavior. A reward is something that brings to a person positive feelings (e. praise. He came to the conclusion that people have “generalized desire to attain goals that require some degree of competence” ( 1964. cited in Biehler & Snowman. The student´s expectations are positive. 1997). Yet another way they might opt for is choosing a problem that is so difficult that a failure would not be surprising even for generally more successful individuals with a higher need for an achievement. The student seeks more difficult tasks because he/she believes in his/her abilities and the fear of failure diminishes. 3. so is 13 .2. positive feedback) and one of the positive emotions that accompanies a reward is the feeling of being successful. individuals afraid of not being able to solve what seems to them as a difficult problem successfully would choose not to take the risk and they would try to avoid such situation by choosing a less challenging work or avoiding the situation completely (you can for example imagine a student who tries to escape an expected test by not coming to school on the day when the test is supposed to take place).g. Atkinson tried to answer the question why some people are willing to tackle more complex or difficult problems than others.

Next time the student will be more careful with his/her enthusiasm and he/she might opt for a simpler task if the possibility exists or. Learning while uneasiness occupies one´s mind is extremely difficult and requires much more mental energy than it would if the same student felt safe and easy – in other words confident about his/her possible achievement in the subject. It sounds very simple and what is important for a teacher. if the feeling of not being satisfactorily successful comes on more occasions. 14 . The harder the student works the more he/she learns. The negative reinforcement would bring its results. The student tries to fulfill a task but fails and as the feeling a failure carries is negative we might consider this a negative reinforcement – punishment. The whole procedure repeats itself – although I would rather say ´in a spiral´ than ´a circle´ because hopefully the student´s positive attitude and motivation are increasing eventually and so is the difficulty of tasks the student is willing to try to complete. the student might give up trying.the attitude towards the subject and consequently escalates the motivation to work hard and learn because the student wants to be rewarded again. the more positively a student feels about his/her performance in the subject being taught the more enthusiastic and the more motivated to work hard he/she is. the same situation might be observed in the other – negative – direction. Obviously. It is important to realize that a students´s attitude towards a subject is related to experience. To sum up what has been written on motivation so far. therefore an individual who has experienced failure in lessons of one subject several times without feeling successful in-between will tend to see the subject as an area where he/she will never feel comfortable. the behavior is shaped after a number of similar situations which occur in a row and have in the student´s point of view the same outcome. For both negative and positive reinforcement in the sense discussed in the previous paragraphs we are of course talking not about a single or exceptional situation as clearly. it is possible to affect the process by supporting the students in their effort with praise and a positive and encouraging feedback.

The specialist on mixed ability classes Luke Prodromou (1996) offers his own research showing what 40 English language students stated to be the qualities of a good teacher. 31. pp. Hrabal ml. 32.We have said that to learn more easily and with a less struggle a student needs to feel reasonably confident about his/her knowledge of the subject. Mareš 1979. This is true especially if the teacher is viewed as a person the students identify with and respect. I would like to name at least some of them here (Prodromou uses transcriptions which have been corrected only so that they do not prevent understanding): friendly/ explained things/ gave a good notes/ let the students do it by themselves in groups/ We did the lesson together/ got out of us things we know/ talked about her life/ told jokes/ She was one of us. ~Karl Menninger If motivation plays a crucial role in the quality and speed of student´s learning and a teacher is the person whose task is to motivate and who should be competent to fulfil the task then we can easily come to the conclusion that it is the teacher what makes the difference. A number of researches have been carried out to find out what makes a good teacher and the results of some of them are accessible on the Internet or are presented in literature. is more important than what he teaches. 4 The Teacher What the teacher is./ did´t push weak learners/ She got close to the students/I wanted him to be proud of me/ They tried to communicate/ She gave advice/ He had a personality of his own/ She made sure everyone understood/ He talked about personal problems/ She was more like a comedian/asked student opinions.. p. there was a dialogue… Prodromou (1996. 56) highlights the confidence might be to a great extent enhanced by the teacher´s belief in the particular student´s progress.) The Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence in their Student Evaluation of Educational Quality research asks students to mark the teachers (instructors) on the 15 . As Helus (Helus. Kulič.

Instructor is dynamic and energetic in conducting the course. Instructor makes students feel welcome in seeking help/advice in or outside of class. Students are invited to share their ideas and knowledge. Students are encouraged to participate in class discussions. 16 . dialogue and discussion.scale from 1 to 5 (1 = Very Poor. The fields the students are asked about are following: Learning environment Organization of the instructor Individual rapport of the instructor Examinations in the course Overall evaluation of the course Enthusiasm of the instructor Group interaction of the instructor Breadth of the course Assignments in the course Some of the criteria considering the instructor are: Instructor is enthusiastic about teaching the course. 5 = Very Good). of course beside the teacher´s knowledge of his/her subject. friendliness and humor. When we compare the ideas and suggestions of the students from the Prodromou´s book and criteria given by the Schreyer Institute we can see that both the lists are very similar – they both stress. Instructor has a genuine interest in individual students. genuine interest in individual students. Instructor gives lectures that facilitate taking notes. Instructor is friendly towards individual students. Instructor enhances presentations with the use of humor. availability of the teacher to help. Students are encouraged to express their own ideas and/or question the instructor. Instructor´s style of presentation holds your interest during the class.

Friendliness. They are individuals. p. Generally. dislike or find boring and useless.1990. thus enjoying themselves and learning. a teacher who tries and works hard is not without chances completely as he/she can always motivate students to learn. humor and respect to the students are vital as the teacher is the one who is responsible for the atmosphere in the class. 17 . The teacher´s personality and his/her own attitude to work and people he/she works with are what the quality of the teaching and learning processes depends on. It has also been said that most of the elements of this mosaic are impossible to be influenced by the teacher. People can learn from a variety of sources. Trying to satisfy the class´ needs actually means trying to satisfy the needs of each person present in the class – individualization is the cornerstone.202) there are certain underlying basic assumptions regarding learning when we talk of ´individualization´: • • • • • People learn – even the same material – in different ways (this implies accepting different learning styles). and the lessons which the students fear.1 The Concept of Individualization According to Logan (cited in Sarwar. but on the other hand. 5 Teaching in a Heterogeneous Class The interest in individual students is the key to a heterogeneous class satisfaction. 5. even if the final goals are the same (it means that the instructional materials can vary) Direct teaching by a teacher is not essential for learning. expectations and needs. Students come from different backgrounds with different ideas. therefore they should be looked at as individuals and not as a whole class. We already know that each student is a mosaic of a number of various personal qualities and abilities which are influenced by many factors coming from the student´s life and environment. the teacher makes the difference between lessons where the students feel safe and comfortable. it is only one of many possible experiences (which means that a teacher can be a facilitator) A variety of learning activities can take place simultaneously People may have a variety of goals of objectives for learning a second language.

Relevance.Most of the Logan´s assumptions are actually further explained and dealt with in more detail in this work. He brought this thought in his book Individualizing The Foreign Language Classroom (Newbury House. Individualization might be applied in the class through the choice and way of organizing various activities in the class. • Rapport – Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English defines rapport as ´friendly agreement and understanding between people´. • Responsibility – this ´R´ implies that it is the learner him/herself who is in charge of the learning. 18 . Here is a brief explanation of what the Rs mean: • Reeducation – the re-establishment of the roles of the teacher and learner is in question. Altman. It should be understood that in the process of teaching and learning the teacher needs to take up the role of a facilitator and the learner should play the part of the active agent. 1972). The teacher should help the students by setting clearly stated tasks and make necessary materials available. The area of the need of positive relationship between students and teachers have already been covered in the chapter on the teachers and it has been touched in the chapter on motivation as well. Sarwar adds one more ´R´to this trio – Rapport. Sarwar (1990) also mentions the ´three Rs of individualization´: Reeducation. • Relevance – the context and materials should be meaningful and in terms of context understandable to the learners. The person who originally came with this concept is H. individualized teaching may be performed by paying attention to learning styles of students and trying to satisfy their needs. Responsibility. Furthermore. These topics will appear in the following chapters. B.

What is worse. Nevertheless. the students will adopt the esprit of “Either I or you – if you then not me” (Helus. the problem is that in a class the same group of stronger students tend to be the ones who end up on the first positions. in other words who fail. the teacher does not evaluate whose work is better. the results are presented to the rest of the class when finished. 19 .2 Types of Activities Used in Class 5. if a competitive atmosphere is supported in the class on a long-term basis. 5. Cooperative – students work together on a task. The effect of experiencing failure has been described in the part of this work dealing with motivation. the teacher only evaluates if the task was completed or not. Since the competitions are usually connected with the knowledge of the subject in concern. Therefore the competitions might be interesting for this group only as all being on a very similar level and having similar abilities they have roughly equal chances to succeed. the fact that the winning students tend to be the same at different occasions means that also the students who are not successful.5.1 Activities According to the Students´ Roles Activities that are happening within a lesson could be divided according to the students´ role: Competitive – the results are compared and the best one is a winner.2.1. the weaker ones might become discouraged and give up trying to win as they do not expect they could succeed.2. While the stronger students might enjoy competitions.1 Competitive Activities Activities including the element of competition are often recommended to increase the interest of students in participating in such activity and to make students work as hard as possible to win. tend to be the same.

Basically. we have to make the goal of the competition independent of his/her knowledge of the language.. There are of course more possibilities where acting. 20 .e. music. Another type of competitions not only the strong students might win are those in which pure luck plays the vital role such as all forms of Bingo (i. Kulič. Students who are not experts on English but are good at arts would probably appreciate competitions where drawing is crucial to be successful. it is not the case completely. Mareš 1979. set of adjectives. The teacher might for example ask the students to create a poster dealing with a recently taught topic and then let the students decide which is the winning one. Such activities do not necessarily have to always have these harmful consequences if their concept is altered so that different students have a chance to become winners. and as Helus (Helus. third etc. Mareš 1979) claims might bring irritation and stress to the group. However. Kulič. not as strong as themselves. Bingo using numbers. a student might succeed only if the others fail (become second. Hrabal ml.Hrabal ml. 20). Weaker students would also enjoy group competitions where each group consists of both stronger and weaker students so the stronger students might produce the language needed while the weaker ones might be important for the group by contributing the knowledge. singing or free writing is involved. An example of such ´non-English´ competition in English might be a knowledge quiz based on geography. Bearing in mind we want a student who is not particularly strong in English to win.. verbs etc. This might lead to very good results of the stronger students but on the other hand to a negative atmosphere in the class. sport etc. Thus the knowledge of a different subject might become vital. p.).but not first) which leads to the situation when the group of students who do not expect good results become negligent and the group of students who think they might be successful wish the others are worse. as a fun activity. We might conclude that competition should be used only in a light-hearted way.

their work will be appreciated by stronger students. which would positively influence their view of themselves.2. Secondly.g. in a friendly atmosphere. explain issues on their own level of thinking and experience which might be more understandable than the teacher´s explanations) and if given a task they can handle successfully. which is undoubtely highly motivating. from the preceding text we have learnt that cooperative activities might be a part of the competitive ones if the competition is organized for groups or pairs. they can relax and work with their partner/s in the same speed as they are used to. The weaker students have partners to help them with difficulties (e. Firstly. Generally. A group or a pair might be formed by students with the same knowledge of English (same abilities) or mixed. by trying to help and explain they consolidate their own knowledge. The stronger students are not without benefits in this situation either. 21 . working side to side with people who have a wider range of knowledge is inspirational and might lead to the weaker student´s desire to reach the same level as the stronger partners. Why to form groups of mixed ability students then? According to Harlen and Malcolm (1997) and many others all the students might profit from such arrangement when carried out appropriately.1. they naturally would have the role of coordinators. Actually.5.2 Cooperative Activities Cooperative activities might be done either in groups or in pairs. The advantage of the same level students working together is that they feel comfortable not being confronted by anyone stronger.

g. The students should be encouraged not to copy from a neighbour. students are not stressed by better or worse performance of others during the activity and to complete a task the students have to use their own knowledge.2. Such students – usually the same group of students – might easily start feeling they are wasting their time by waiting for the slower ones.1 Individual Activities Individual activities seem the most suitable for students in mixed ability classes for several reasons: they allow students to work in their own pace.2.2 Pair and Group Activities Pair and group activities have been actually already touched in the section on cooperative and competitive activities. however. Inevitably.2. so that they show effort and active thinking – thus strengthening what they have learnt.2 Activities According to the Number of Students Working Together 5. 22 . 5. Contingency plan might either mean an extra exercise or a follow up activity connected with the one the rest of students are working on such as preparing questions or true/false statements based on a text being read for the rest of the class. Some teachers let the students work on their homework for next lesson. exercises in the workbook.2. because the students work in their own speed some will finish sooner than others. i. To avoid such situation the teacher should have on hand a contingency plan.e. I do not think it is a suitable solution as it actually means that the students then spend less time at home occupying their mind with the language and consequently do not consolidate what they have learnt at school that day.5.2. they have to rely on themselves. It is convenient for the teacher as he/she does not have to do any extra preparations in advance. e.

The task might be to discuss a controversial issue and provide reasons supporting one´s opinions or writing an anecdote.3. Productive skills. closed activities are those where the possibilities of outcome are limited (closed) to one correct answer. speaking and writing are usually the skills to be used. Obviously. though.3. 5. 23 .2. pair to pair or a group to group. reading and listening.1 Closed Activities Shortly put. i.2. Some exercises might be carried out as an open-ended group-work with the element of competition and some might be an open-ended task to be worked on individually. might be used successfully in a heterogeneous class if the teacher is able to employ all the students. essay.3 Activities According to the Expected Result 5. letter etc.2 Open-Ended Activities Open-ended activities are those where the outcome varies from a student to student.2. the types of activities given above combine. They are usually connected with receptive skills. i.e. make them participate and succeed. All types. An example of such an activity might be cloze tests or marking statements based on a reading or listening exercise true or false.e.5.

this situation might cause serious problems with the students´ concentration. in a class of 24 . All four skills (speaking. However.1 Homogeneous Groups Within One Class The teacher can set the class in groups according to the level of their language knowledge and then prepare different materials for each group. Groups of students based on similar level would be more homogenous and easier to teach. Nevertheless. as well as many other things this is a matter of experience and practice. the smaller the original class the less suitable or the more limiting this idea would be.g. Not everyone is able to separate mentally from what is happening around and focus completely on his/her task.5. to rely on themselves trying to find out whatever they would themselves or seek help within the group not asking the teacher about everything. another one might need to do a listening exercise. Another aspect that should be taken into consideration is the number of students in the original class. The more advanced students could work more independently perhaps faster and do more complex projects together. For some teachers difficulties might appear considering the classroom management. this situation might be profitable for all the participants under the condition that the students would not feel neglected by the teacher so a reasonable level of their independence would have to be established. reading and writing) being taught to all the groups would mean that while one group would work on reading or writing. listening. This would for example allow the teacher to spend more time with the learners whose level is lower. It is necessary for the teacher to to be able to concentrate on all the activities proceeding at the same time. Limiting in the sense of variability – e. e. doing a reading comprehension exercise dealing with sports while hearing a radio programme dealing with the latest films and going to the cinema. Generally.g. Students would also learn to be more self-sufficient.3. If not handled properly.3 Clasroom Management in Heterogeneous Classes There are several ways of making reaching satisfactory results possible for students of all levels present in the class: 5.

dividing them in two groups would limit further division possibilities. Similarly to setting the minimum of the task to be fulfilled. To be more specific. What is more. There are again various ways of making instructions different according to the students´ abilities. e. 5. 25 . if there are only 10 students in the original class.2 Differentiated Instructions To meet the needs of students with different level of language knowledge differentiated instructions might be introduced. Not to make the lower level or slower students feel inferior the task might be announced as ´Find in the text answers to at least 7 of the 10 questions given in the book´ That way the students would not feel embarrassed or unsucessful if they are not able to find all the answers and they would also be able to finish the task in time. Sometimes the students are asked to write sentences using certain expressions – again the number of expressions might be lowered for some students.twenty students divided in two different levels groups the students still have 9 potential partners for pairwork and it is even possible to form groups within one level group. the teacher can choose parts of some exercises as optional. setting as optional only the questions he/she thinks might be too difficult for some of the students. if there are 10 questions to be answered referring to a text in the studentsbook then the weaker students might be asked to find answers only to 7 of them. on the other hand.3. the teacher would have to actually prepare as many correlative lesson plans for each lesson as many groups he/she would set up in the class which would definitely be very demanding and time-consuming.g. They might be also be given the possibility to choose which seven questions they answer. The easiest way of adjusting the tasks in the same textbook for several levels is to set limits to the amount of work demanded from the students corresponding with the levels.

Given identical set of information different people might get to different conclusions. Reasons for such a decision may vary from missing self-confidence or tiredness to simple laziness. I would like to present an overview of several models. this should happen only in justifiable cases perhaps when the situation occurs repeatedly as the students should be led to be able to assess their own competence and take the responsibility for their own learning.3. 26 . they differ in the way of viewing the world around themselves seeing the same things from their own point.3 Setting Tasks According to the Learning Styles of Individual Learners It has been described and explained within this text why and how each student is a unique individual with his/her specific needs. 6 Learning Styles 6.1 Definition The theory of individualized learning styles originated in the 1970s and according to the information on the Wikipedia over 80 learning style models have been proposed. People differ in their personal qualities and abilities.The advantage of these options is that the students can decide for themselves what they consider an achievable variation and they can also change it anytime they feel it is suitable or needed without having to let the teacher know. 5. Disadvantage might be seen in the fact that some students will opt for the easier way and less demanding choice although their abilities would allow them to choose differently. Nevertheless. All teachers know that students do not learn or remember the same within one lesson. each consisting of at least two different styles. I find it advisable for the teacher to pay attention to the students ´choices and encourage them not to underestimate their abilities or to participate fully in the lesson. One of the reasons for this is that students have varying learning styles.

These students recognize patterns a connections between them. but individuals also differ from one another in the forms of these representations. their strengths. called LdPride. educators should not ask. And according to the Highland Schools Virtual Library´s enter on multiple intelligences Learning and Teaching should take Account of Multiple Intelligence two more were added later: Naturalistic and Existential Intelligence. According to multiple intelligences theory. as the Funderstanding claims in their definition of Learning styles. These people are articulate and they like reading and writing. and the ways in which (and ease with which) these representations can be changed. People who use visual (spatial) learning style prefer using pictures and images to learn and remember information. There are seven different ways to demonstrate intellectual ability described in Gardner´s book Frames of Mind. Colours are of great significance. use logic and numbers. not only do all individuals possess numerous mental representations and intellectual languages. 1 Visual/Spatial Intelligence is the ability to respond to visual stimuli. "Is this student smart?" but rather "How is this student smart?" 6. A website on learning difficulties. to understand written and spoken utterances. The learning styles theory implies that how much individuals learn has more to do with whether the educational experience is suitable and aimed toward their particular style of learning than whether or not they are "smart. To understand or learn 27 . brings quite complex information on the topic of learning styles and multiple intelligencies. 2 Verbal/Linguistic Intelligence is the ability to use language and words.2 Multiple Intelligences This idea was conceived by Howard Gardner.This approach to learning emphasizes the fact that individuals perceive and process information in very different ways." In fact. 3 Logical/Mathematical Intelligence is the ability to reason.

Games that involve communication with other people. These people are great communicators. It has been alleged that two more intelligencies have been added eventually: 8 Naturalistic Intelligence students with this intelligence developed are curious about plants and animals. They prefer learning in groups or classes or with the teacher directly. 5 Musical/Rhythmic Intelligence is the ability to produce and appreciate music.information they like to classify and group the information. board games are welcomed by such students. These students like problem solving. These people perceive sounds rhythm and patterns.They prefer working on their own. Music invokes strong emotions. They like physical exercise and they do not want to sit for a long time. introspective and independent. They are able to make distinctions and recognize patterns in the natural world. They like to discuss the learnt issues. 4 Bodily/Kinesthetic Intelligence is the ability to control body movements and handle objects skillfully. 28 . These people are private. 7 Intrapersonal Intelligence is the ability to self-reflect and be aware of one's inner state of being. They are interested in ecology and environment. Typical for these people is gesturing while speaking. They also understand their role in the relationships with other people. Such students are able to concentrate very well on their current topic. People with this learning style use their body and sense of touch to learn about the world around. 6 Interpersonal Intelligence is the ability to understand others. They also enjoy explaining new items to others.

org/) : 1 Print Modality (a print orientated learner) This is a learner who likes to see things written to be able to learn and remember them. They need written instructions. He/she finds it easy to get the hold of things on the first reading of material. enjoy role-plays and dramas. 3 Interactive Modality (an interactive learner) Interactive learners learn best through verbalization.9 Existential Intelligence these learners reflect on meaning of life. 2 Aural Modality (an aural learner) This is a learner who learns well through lectures as he/she remembers ideas presented verbally. talk to other or even to self. They also like to talk. 4 Visual Modality (a visual learner) 29 . 6.3 Perceptual Styles Perceptual learning styles refer to the means of extracting information from the world around through the five senses.learningstyles. Small groups and discussions are stimulating for such a learner. He/she does not only need to listen as the aural learner but more important is to be able to disscus things. they attend to philosophical topics of death and purpose of life. Following verbal instructions is feasible for them. Seven different perceptual modes of meeting the information are distinguished (they are described in detail for example on this web site: http://www. This person loves reading and often takes notes which for him/her is a process that help him/her to learn easily. Various tapes and studying CDs are useful particularly for this type of learners.

demonstrations and all types of visual arts and media. It is extremely difficult for them to keep concentrated when a lengthy listening is included in the lesson. They benefit from the use of pictures. which looks at the problem from a different point of view is the one of Honey and Mumford (1992) They identify four kinds of learners: 1 Activists – learners who favor experiencing. 6 Kinesthetic Modality (a kinesthetic learner) Kinesthetic learners learn by doing. Movement helps them to concentrate. for example giving presentations. They gesture a lot and want to move when learning. problem –based learning and activities that might be described as extrovert. passive situations such as watching video. games and simulations. 5 Haptic Modality (a haptic learner) The sense of touch is the crucial one for these learners. visual learners do not talk much and they might often stare. creative situations. Smells and tastes have special significance for them. 6.4 Honey&Mumford Learning Styles Another division of learning styles. 7 Olfactory Modality (an olfactory learner) These learners learn best through the sense of smell and taste. Their concentration is poor when visual or auditory presentations take place in the lesson. project work. teamwork. graphs. brainstorming. Artwork and tasks requiring manipulation are what these students are usually good at. They like to have time for 30 .Such learners learn by seeing and watching. These learners prefer cerebral activities. Smells increase their learning. Typically.e. They like a ´hands-on´ approach to learning. They often have a vivid imagination. They also like to trace words and pictures. i. 2 Reflectors – learners who like to think carefully. They associate particular smells with memories.

Obviously. reasons of action and speed and approach to problem solving) are presented as four dichotomies: 1 Extraversion (the need to talk things out) – Introversion (the need to think things through) 2 Intuitive (being able to see the big picture) – Sensing (seeing the details) 3 Feeling (concern for people) – Thinking (concern for logical implications) 31 . Real problems and realistic case studies are stimulating for them. Demonstrations. Test is available for example on www.personalitypathways. listening to or reading about well-argued. 4 Pragmatists – the practical students. 3 Theorists – experts on generalizing. focus of information. simulations. They enjoy structured situations with a clear purpose. Isabel Briggs Myers. They want to see the links between theory and practice and they enjoy learning skills and techniques with obvious practical . 6. logical ideas. Learning styles are of course influenced by the students´ personalities. Painstaking research is not a problem for them. an extravert student´s preferences with regard to activity type would differ from those of an introvert student. For more information see Wikipedia. Their typology is known as Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.preparation before participative activities. They want to understand and participate in highly complex situations and they need to be able to question and probe assumptions.5 Myers-Briggs Type Indicator One of the divisions of students´ learning styles based on personalities was designed by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter. films etc. Four dimensions (preferred speed of interpersonal response. with a practical bias are favored by these learners.

Sensing.6 VAK VAK model is based on perceptual modality. VAK is its less detailed version. As the principles of VAK model are referred to in the practical part of this project. 6. the way we process information (based on the way we think. incredible eighty models consisting of at least two styles exist. More precisely. thus it is very similar to the Perceptual styles model. Additionally. We have also come to understand that the styles might be examined from various points of view such as an individual´s personality (based on the way we interact with our surroundings). As it has been already mentioned in the text. Similarly to the learning styles above. there are types of activities favored and resented by the particular groups of students: While the Extravert students would rather talk to others about their ideas and do a pair or a groupwork. etc. or perceptual modality (based on the way we use our senses). ´iNtuitive´ is abbreviated to ´N´. there will be more attention paid to them in the following text. 32 . We have read brief descriptions of a few of the frequently mentioned models. and remember information). A person who embodies Introversion. the Introvert students might not enjoy such activities at all. tips for teachers collected from several sources are presented. As the words ´introversion´ and ´intuitive´ both start with ´I´. Yet the basic and the most commonly used model is to be introduced: the socalled VAK. solve problems.4 Judging (love to come to conclusions) – Perceiving (staying open to suggestions) These eight characteristics combine and when describing a person the initial letters are used. Thinking and Perceiving would be marked as ISTP. We have seen four models of how learning styles are distinguished. Intuitive students want variety and spontaneity while the Thinking students may not like spontaneous questions.

on the other hand. however. All learners combine these three sensory receivers to obtain information. These learners remember information transferred into images and pictures and it is easier for them if the information is already presented in that way. To help these learners teachers could: • • • • • • use charts. Visual Students with a visual learning style profit from a lesson which include mainly materials they can see or watch. As a website on VAK learning styles www. pictures etc. and Kinesthetic . use the board and flip charts to show what will come and what has been supplement textual information with illustrations whenever possible show diagrams (time-lines) and then explain them allow the student to construct. Visual-linguistic learners prefer learning through written language. Visual-spatial learners. draw or otherwise create visual representations of use inductive (discovery) techniques as often as possible. illustrations. demonstrations.are used to determine the dominating learning style. presented a concept as a substitute for some written assignments 33 in its handout VAK Learning Style Inventory suggests. They are able to remember information from a text they have read perhaps only once and they like to write down directions. such as reading and writing tasks. It is important to say that different tasks might be predominantly tackled by different styles by one learner.Within the VAK learning style the three main sensory receivers – i. find treating written language difficult and prefer charts. This capitalizes on the visual-spatial learner's pattern-finding strength. graphs.e.sfw. The dominant style defines the best way of treating new information. videos and other . one of them is usually dominant. posters. videos. Vision. there are two subchannels to visual learners – linguistic and spatial. Auditory.

34 . show the students how to create mind maps.• • teach the student to visualize words and concepts.

questions and answers) 35 .sfw. have the students role-play and do simulations have the students create and use cards with information (e. and tactile. When they are supposed to solve a problem they like to talk about it with other learners or with the teacher. noted above. They might find necessary noise disrupting. again alleges two subchannels: kinesthetic.vocabulary. They tend to lose concentration if there is little external stimulation or movement. connected with movement.g. Such students will remember heard and discussed data. To help these learners teachers could: • • • • • use activities that involve moving have the students write on the board give frequent breaks for stretching include drama techniques. While listening they like to take notes and when reading they like to scan the material first and only later concentrate on details.ewb. Oral components might include taped lectures. To help these learners teachers could: • • • • • • begin new material with a brief explanation of what is coming and then conclude let the students work in groups or pairs to discuss their ideas teach inductively – elicit as much information from the students as possible let the students not only read but also listen at the same time create or simply find suitable tapes and CDs for the students to listen at home have the students make speeches and presentations with a summary of what has been covered within the lesson Kinesthetic The website www. videos etc. connected with touch.Auditory Auditory learners learn best with oral components included in the material being used within the lesson.

as people generally tend to proceed with whatever they do in certain ways (affected by their personality. However. not only students have their styles of work but teachers do as well. 7 Teaching Styles Four basic teaching styles are recognized: • • • • Formal authority Demonstrator or Personal Model Facilitator Delegator This approach to distinguishing different teaching styles is based on the personality of the individual characterized as follows: Formal Authority This is a teacher-centered style. Obviously. extravert students with high interpersonal intelligence might find this way of teaching unmotivating and impersonal.• play games We have had a look at different styles of learning. 36 . The four teaching styles are on a website of The Pennsylvania State University dealing with research on teaching.psu. The main concern of this type of a teacher is providing and controlling the content of what the student learns. perceptual modality and information processing). learning and technology http://tlt. The teacher does not make an effort to create a relationship with the student and he/she does not regard with a great importance whether the students build relationships with each other.

Naturally. Dividing teachers in these four groups is probably the most frequent way to characterize teaching styles. Facilitator This approach is student-centered. Independent. Delegator Similarly to the latter one. or any person for that matter. I believe that teaching styles also depend on the teachers´ own learning styles. The students are to take the initiative to complete various tasks. Much of control and responsibility for learning is placed on individual students. The 37 . The teacher demonstrates and models the skills and process that the students are expected to use/ learn and than assists the students with putting the knowledge in action. this is a student-centered approach. a teacher whose dominant learning style is the visual one would tend to bring to the class and make use of various kinds of visual materials. In other words. Qualified teachers themselves have experienced all stages of educational system from the kindergarten up to university and they apparently have been successful students. active and collaborative learners would work well in this environment. However.Demonstrator or Personal Model Also a teacher-centered style but with more attention paid to the students. Any teacher. Students are very often asked to work in groups or independently. might subconsciously conclude that what he/she feels is the most suitable for him/her would automatically be the best for others. The teacher is the one who facilitates the process. This style encourages all students to participate and it is possible to meet the needs of students with various learning styles. they probably have discovered the way of learning most suitable for them – their learning style and corresponding learning strategies. The same would be true about an auditory teacher or about a teacher whose learning style is Print Modality.

potential danger in this situation regarding teaching is that if for example a teacher strongly favors working with written texts. possibly too demanding and eventually the students may start disliking a subject they would otherwise. Therefore it is important for a teacher to be aware of the different preferences regarding learning styles and to try to satisfy the needs of all of them. all the students who do not would be disadvantaged. with a different teacher. The lessons might seem uninteresting. attend with pleasure. 38 .

We have understood that the original meaning of the term ´mixed ability´classes slightly differs from how it is used in nowadays methodology. a large part of the theoretical half of the theses has been devoted to learning styles. In the practical part I would mainly like to present several lesson plans for teaching in a heterogeneous class.e.Summary of the Theoretical Part At this point I would like to sum up what has been covered in the theoretical part of this theses. We have looked at how people differ and what the causes of the fact that each individual is unique are according to psychologists. The term ´heterogeneous classes´ has been introduced instead. perception). Types of activities used in the class divided according to several criteria have been listed and their suitability or possibility of adjusting them for heterogeneous groups of students have been discussed. Brief descriptions of six models of learning styles have been introduced. I would like to use the ideas for teaching in such class introduced in the theoretical part. one chapter of this work deals with the teacher´s personality and approach to students and teaching. We have been acquainted with the aspects observed when defining learning styles (personality. A short chapter on teaching styles has been included. i. information processing. differentiated instructions according to the level of 39 . As a teacher is the one who the learning process and motivation of students largely depends on. The role of motivation in the process of learning has been emphasized and psychological theories that back up and explain the importance of motivation have been presented. As I see the way the individual students learn as a significant aspect to be taken into consideration while teaching.

visual. kinesthetic). auditory. 40 . according to the learning styles (namelyVAK . various kinds of activities described earlier.knowledge.

The choice of the days to pay attention to was made to cover various topics from the world of the hearing-impaired people to the global problems such as the clean fresh water scarcity. After all. poverty. open-ended activities and closed ones. pair/group work and individual activities. The lesson plans are complemented by evaluation of the lessons which have actually been taught. Each lesson plan includes activities suitable for heterogeneous classes as they have been described and explained in the theoretical part of this project: activities with differentiated instructions according to the students´ level of knowledge of English or the students learning styles. The argument supporting this choice is the growing importance of people´s awareness of the global issues such as the enviroment. human rights etc. the need to bring the pupils and students to think about these topics is reflected in the cross-sectional topics listed in the national curriculum.Practical Part Introduction The practical part consists of lesson plans based on international observance and significant days. List of lesson plans: • • • • • International Deaf People´s Day (September 24) World Food Day (October 16) International Day for Tolerance (November 16) World Water Day (March 22) Earth Day (April 22) 41 .

Specification of the Class Where the Lessons Were Taught Course description: Place– a private language school Course – a language course for secondary school graduates Length – 1 school year (September – June) Frequency – 4 lessons a day (2 x 90 min. Monday to Friday Number of students – 24 Students – most of them 19-20 years old. students who passed maturita the previous year. as it has been said in the theory. which means that the class really is a group of people with various approaches to information and it is neccessary to use a number of types of activities.30 – 11.). It is therefore advisable not to take results of only one test as a dogma.m. Students´ learning styles according VAK test: Visual: Auditory: 7 students 9 students Kinesthetic: 11 students The test (see Appendix 6) has 16 questions. What is more. The important fact is that the results differ from a student to student. 8. students might have different preferences for different tasks. usually to be able to communicate while travelling or to have a chance to get a better job in future.50 a. Another reason the students presented was that they simply wanted to improve their English. Optional Exam . For several students the differencies between the number of points reached for the individual styles is so little that it is impossible to tell which style they prefer. 42 .level B1 or B2 From a written assignment the students were given as homework at the beginning of the school year I understood that for most of the people the main reason for attending the course was that they had tried but were not accepted at university the previous year and wanted to try again.

For the above described reasons I tried to create the lesson plans to include as much variety as possible. they do not spoil the activity for others by being angry or bored. therefore variety with the teachers´ effort to care for all the students and their needs is one of the keys to teaching heterogenous classes. They all feel they profit from the co-operation with a more advanced peer as better students are easier to communicate with and they can also explain to the weaker students anything that the weaker ones do not understand. It seems that variety together with a good rapport with the students are the best conditions for designing lessons where everybody finds something interesting for him/herself.From a questionnaire I gave my students earlier in the school term (see Appendix 7) I found out that apart from two who feel insecure all the students want to work with a partner whose English is better or at least the same as theirs. Only one student said it did not matter to her. not having to fullfil tasks that seem to be boring or too difficult. All the students viewed the choice very positively. The last but not least important question encquired about the situation when the students are given the opportunity to choose a task. One student made an interesting remark where she explained that when a student can actually choose what he/she wants to do. all the students think it is better to work in pairs. Nobody said he/she liked working on their own. being able to choose what they feel good at. 43 . Two students chose working in groups. All of them listed very similar reasons for the conclusion: being able to do what they prefer. Answers to the question about preferred type of activity regarding the number of students working together were again very similar.

1) on the board and ask the students what they think it means (international sign of Deaf/Hard of hearing) 2. After two minutes I ask individual students what they have written and write some examples on the board. writing a list(10 min) Procedure: Pairwork/Individual 1. 2.1 Lesson plan – 90 min 1) Brainstorming to introduce the concept of special days(6min. I explain that today (24th September) is the International Deaf People´s Day 3) Discussion. 2) Brainstorming to introduce the topic: International Deaf People´s Day(3 min) Procedure: 1.) Procedure: 1. notes and evaluations 1 International Deaf People´s Day (September 24) 1.Lesson plans. 2. I tell the students: -Think of examples of things you do every day without any difficulties but that might be a problem for a person who cannot hear -write them down.After the studentss have finished I ask them for examples and write some of them on the board 3. I put the pictogram (see Appendix 1. The studentss decide if they want to work in a pair or work on their own. The students have 2 minutes to write a list of special days (International days) they can think of. 44 .

5) Groupwork – How do you communicate with deaf people?(15 min) Procedure: I divide the students in three groups according to the level of their English – I prepared the lists of students working in each group beforehand. They compare their answers I tell the students: -Look at the pictures together -B starts and says what s/he thinks the picture means 45 . When the partner thinks s/he knows what the student is trying to say. drawing or miming) 2.2 and 1. I ask ´How can you do it?´ (I elicit possible ways e. writing. The groups work on the same topic but with different instructions. Group B (a little bit weaker students than group A) – look at the pictures I have given you (see Appendix 1. (see Appendices 1. I ask the students to imagine they want to communicate some information to a deaf person. I ask the students to write three sentences beginning with ´I´ 3. The students form new groups with one person from each of the previous groups.e. i. s/he writes the sentence down and the miming student checks whether s/he really understood. Instructions: Group A (the strongest students) – brainstorm. what you have to bear in mind when you communicate with a deaf person.4)Pairwork / Personalization (12-15 min) Procedure: 1. there are groups of three students: one from group A. The task is to communicate the sentences to the partner miming them.g. discuss and write down tips for communication with deaf people – what is important.2) and try to write down the tips for communication with deaf people illustrated in the pictures. Group C (the weakest group) – match the pictures and tips. one from group B and one from group C 2.3) 6) Groupwork in mixed groups A+B+C(10 min) Procedure: 1.

I pre-teach/elicit the meaning of the words lip-reading. the students now go back to their places and talk to their neighbour I tell the students to go back to their places and tell their partners what they have heard from the other students. look up any words you need to understand the text and ask the teacher if you are still not sure you understand it -Read the text again and try to remember the information -When you finish find another student who has finished as well and tell him/her what you have read about.4). listen to his/her interpretation of their text. Each student reads his/her text and then reports it to other students. too 8) Pairwork – speaking (5 min) Procedure: As the previous activity was a mingle.5) and try to learn to ´spell´ their name 10) End of the lesson I say Thank you and good bye in the sign language´ 46 .-C gives the correct answer -A says if there is the same or a similar tip in his/her list 7) Reading and speaking (15-20min) Procedure: Each student gets a short text on a piece of paper. They should tell their partners what they think was the most interesting and surprising 9) Fun – end-of-the-lesson activity (if there is still time) – manual alphabet Procedure: Students get a copy of the manual alphabet (see Appendix 1. The text includes an interesting piece of information connected to the topic of the whole lesson (see Appendix 1. sign language I tell the students: -Read your text. manual alphabet.

2 Lesson notes and evaluation ad 1. ad 5 & 6) This activity was for the students extremely difficult – I unfortunately did not realize that the topic is not at all familiar for the students.There was also a problem with the matching of pictures and sentences: some of the pictures are ambiguous and some are not clear at all. In conclusion this activity took too long. I had to help them a lot as having spent so much time preparing the lesson and reading through information on the topic I did not realize that what is apparent to me is not at all apparent to the students. ad 3) Here I let the students decide if they want to work in pairs or they want to work on their own as each person has different preferences in this regard. The stronger students seemed to enjoy this activity. after the time limit is over. However. which in combination makes finding the matches quite difficult. Although when I was planning this activity I thought any three sentences the students write would be possible to be expressed through miming. I then decided to limit the sentences by setting the beginning with ´I´ as it makes the activity more personalized. ad 4) I chose to include miming in this lesson plan as it perfectly fits the topic and it allows even the students who do not for various reasons feel comfortable speaking to express themselves and to communicate. It was probably the most difficult and time-consuming part of the preparation of the lesson.1. asks some of the weaker students first. Their neighbour is probably the one they know the best so they do not find it difficult to mime in front of him/her. although the texts 47 . In this case it worked. I let the students work with their neghbours as the day is very close to the beginning of the school year and the students do not know at this time each other very well. on the other hand. especially if the teacher. if used with 2 minutes´time for thinking and writing even the slower students are able to bring up their ideas. ad 7 & 8) I tried to find for this activity as interesting information as possible. 2) In this part I used brainstorming which is actually not very suitable for mixedability classes as it does not usually give the slower students chance to contribute.

48 . the instructions were to tell other students about the text after one has finished – it actually gave the weaker students the opportunity to spend as much time reading and looking up new words as they needed.were really short and I even adapted the vocabulary used in the texts. However. some of the weaker students found it extremely challenging. ad 9) An enjoyable and light-hearted activity to finish the lesson which all students seemed to enjoy. The students who did not manage to read the information and pass it on could use the time when the rest of the class conversed for reading and then simply speak about their text within the following activity.

Then I let the students unfold the copies to be able to read the signs and tell them that this is another international day we would talk about in the class.look at the pictures again . The students have the pictures in front of themselves. hunger. terrible. not enough food…etc.1 Lesson plan – 90 min 1) Brainstorming based on pictures as a lead-in (5min. hard …etc.2 World Food Day (October 16) 2.1) printed on sheets of paper but the copies are folded so that the students cannot see the written information (1 copy for a pair or a group of three – so that everybody can see it) and ask them to describe what they can see in the picture.´ will come up) 2) Brainstorming – pairwork to let students think of the possible topic (5 min) Procedure: 1.´ will come up) 3) Introducing the topic WORLD FOOD DAY (2 min) Procedure: I show the students the logo (see Appendix 2. They discuss possible answers to my question (↓) and note them down.what kind of problems and difficulties do these people have in their lives? (I expect expressions like ´illnesses. I ask them for examples and write them on the board next to the words from the first activity. Instructions: . 49 .) Procedure: I give students cut out pictures and magazines with relevant pictures bookmarked and ask them to tell me what words come to their mind when they see the pictures and I write some examples on the board (I expect words like ´poor. 2.

I set a time limit here (approx.4) Associations – writing (30 min) a) Procedure: Individual/ groupwork – I divide the ss in bigger groups (there should be about 7 people in each group). After the time limit they read the sentences to the other students in their group to share ideas. They think of a word they associate with the word FOOD and write it underneath. Each students gets a sheet of paper with the word FOOD written on the top. Instructions: -within your group make a list of the last words you have on your sheets of paper -now you have 5 minutes to write sentences to explain how the word FOOD and the other words are connected 50 . there are about 7 words in each group I let the students choose words and ask them to write sentences to explain how the word FOOD and their word is connected. I let them repeat it till their own paper comes back to them.) not a number of sentences so that each student can write in their own pace. I put examples on the board and tell the students to make a list of the last words they have in their group – i. They fold the paper back so that only their word is visible and pass the sheet on to the next student in the group. 5 min.e. instructions: -look at the word written on your paper -what does it make you think of? -write one word under the word FOOD -fold the paper back so that you can only see your new word and pass the paper to the person on your right -look at the new word and do the same thing as before b) Procedure: I write on the board the word FOOD and ask the students to give me examples of words that appeared as the last ones on their sheets of papers.

Then handouts with the text Compassion Through Experience (see Appendix 2. (http://www. I tell the students they are going to work on a gap-filling exercise based on the clip they have just watched and tell them they can choose the level of difficulty themselves (A being the easist B middle difficulty and C the most difficult). food .3) B – students have a list of the missing words in mixed order. 6) Video (5 min) Procedure: The students see a short (4min) clip showing the event Broken Bread they have just read about and including more information on the topic of world hunger and poverty. I let the students read the text. There are 10 gaps to be filled in by one word v=njgH_TI8ONY&feature=related) 7) Graded individual work (10 min) Procedure: 1. If there are any early finishers I ask them to try to create questions for other students based on the text. They are asked to watch and listen carefully. . they have to choose the correct one (see Appendix 2.g. A – students have for each gap two words. If there are not any early finishers I ask all the students a few comprehension questions myself.4) 51 .2) are distributed to each student. they have to decide which word goes where (see Appendix 2.train  We use trains to transport food.e. I let the students look up any words they do not understand in dictionaries. I ask if they know what the word ´compassion´means and what they think the title might mean.(after time limit) read your sentences to the other students in your group 5) Reading (10 min) Procedure: I ask the ss if they know any organization or event that help people who are in this difficult situation.

Then they watch the video again and check the answers. We all try the website www. I distribute the sheets accordingly Instructions: -Look at the text – it is a transcription of what you have just heard in the video -complete the text 8) Groupwork in mixed groups A+B+C (5min) Procedure: Students get in mixed groups and compare their .5) 2. 52 .freerice. 9) Fun – end-of-the-lesson activity As an important part of the lesson is a clip from the Internet we will spend the lesson in the computer class.C – in each of the ten gaps the first letter of the missing word is given (see Appendix 2.

On the other hand.2. In this case it worked. hunger. after the time limit is over. It took slightly longer than planned as some students found it difficult to think of associated items. asks some of the weaker students first. one took place in the usual classroom and the other took place in the IT classroom. not enough food…etc.). 53 . and even funny so we ended this activity in laugh. the lesson had to be broken into two parts. b) This part of the activity includes free writing and students work on their own with words they choose themselves so it allows all students to participate and work in their own pace. This caused some difficulties because the class is small and it is almost impossible to move around.2 Lesson notes and evaluation As a part of the lesson is based on a clip presented on the YouTube server. This fact together with the fact that it is an open-ended activity (there is no correct or wrong answer in associating) makes it a suitable activity for a heterogeneous class. it seemed an enjoyable activity. Whe I asked the students about possible difficulties these people face they really came up with the expressions I had hoped for (illnesses. ad 1) & 2) In this part I used brainstorming based on pictures. ad 4) a) Although it was a bit difficult to explain and a student who had understood my instructions was eventually asked to explain the task in Czech. especially if the teacher. It worked well and students produced a number of sentences. there are 15 computers so all the students can easily get an access to one (there are over 20 students in the class) and use it. some short. Similarly to the first lesson (International Deaf People´s Day) used with 2 minutes´time for thinking and writing even the slower students are able to bring up their ideas. To prevent the activity from being too long I suggested letting the students think and simply passing the paper further on as it did not really matter how many expressions appeared on each paper. some of them more complex.

although understandably nobody chose C. ad 7) Within this activity the students were asked to choose the difficulty of the task according to their abilities. they are a perfect source of teaching 5) in the IT classroom The text for reading was not easy for the students but as we did the reading in the classroom with computers they could look up the words they did not understand in the online dictionaries which sped the reading up. What is more. I think that it was the point where the students got really involved in the topic and it was one my goals. it was great for all the visual and audio learners. ad 6) It was great that we were able to use the computer room and I could the students let watch the clip. I would love to use more videos like this in the class in future. 54 . I think it is partly because the students are not used to this kind of decision making and partly. in this case. Unfortunately. it was because they found the text accompanying the clip quite difficult.

I ask the students if they can think of a word or words that would be opposite to racism.1 Lesson plan – 90 min 1) Matching words and definitions. religion.g.3 International Day for Tolerance (November 16) 3. school. 55 .After 2-3 minutes I ask the students for the ideas and write them on the board 2) Short writing to introduce the topic: Tolerance (10 min) Procedure: 1. work. I ask the students to try to list in pairs topics and places these words are connected with the three terms on the board (e. After few minutes I ask them to compare them with their neighbours and I write some of the explanations as examples on the board. I elicit the words being defined – i. intolerance 3. racism. because they belong to a different race from your own. 3. • the practice of treating one person or group of people differently from another in an unfair way • unwillingness to accept ways of thinking and behaving that are different from yours. men and women . discrimination. 2. I write on the board 3 definitions • unfair treatment of people. I tell the students to imagine that their little brother or sister want them to explain what the word ´tolerance´ means. discrimination and intolerance. I elicit the word tolerance . (Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. or violence against them. I ask the students to write down their explanations. I explain that today (16th November) is the International Day for Tolerance.( 5 min) Procedure: 1.e. ) 2. sport…) 4. sexual orientation.

European racism http://youtube. both on the topic of racism. 3. 2.racism in football.3) Speaking (10 min) Procedure: I ask the students if they remember any cases of racism. discrimination or intolerance from the news. I put on the board: When ?/ Where ?/ Who?/ What happened? and ask the students to tell their partner. they read the parts and put the text together.) -a story of a girl whose parents threaten to break their contacts with her unless she stopps seeing her boyfriend who has a different colour of skin. After watching each video I ask comprehension questions to make sure the students understand what is happening. Tiery Henry speaking about being insulted by fans. I walk around the class. I ask the students if/what they found surprising in the text.g. They compare their version with another pair to check.. but about 4 min.1). 56 .com/watch?v=K8GM3YOqFnY (3 min. of the clip are enough for the students to understand the topic and be able to react). The students get a cut up version of the text The World and We (The World AreWe. 5) Video (15 min) Procedure: I tell the students we are going to watch two videos. monitor and help if necessary. 4) Ordering a jumbled text (15 min) Pairwork 1. All the students watch Emily faces racism http://youtube.see Appendix 3. includes (10 min.

They watch the chosen video again. Answer the questions yourself.6) The videos follow up activities – activities according to the students´ choice (25-30 min) Procedure: 1. A comes to tell you he/she has a a boyfriend/ girlfriend who is from a different community. You do not like the idea. b) for students watching European racism: • • writing: write a letter to one of the racistic fans. together with another student/ other students who have chosen the same clip. they can either watch reactions and related videos to to the clips they watched before or I give 57 . Try to think of the questions you would ask them. try to explain to him/her why you think his/ her behaviour is unacceptable speaking: You were asked to make a research among students about their awareness of racism. The students decide which video was more interesting for them. 2. your parents are not very happy about the idea and they are trying to dissuade you. tell them what you think and what they should do. Any vocabulary/ understanding problems are clarified. You really want to stay with your partner. 7) End of the lesson According to how much time students have at the end of these activities. Try to persuade your parents. The tasks to choose from: a) for students watching Emily faces racism: • writing: write a letter to Emily´s parents. The students can choose what they are going to do. 3. List possible problems to A and try to make him/her to change his/her mind. • speaking: (the students have to be able to find a partner with the same choice) student A) prepare to tell your parents that you have found a boyfriend/ girlfriend who is from a different community. student B) you are a parent of A.

58 .(see Appendix 3.2) They unscramble them and decide which one they like the most.them scrambled quotations on tolerance.

Unfortunately. ad 5) I have chosen two videos to make all the students interested. ad 4) I would say the students got really involved in this activity. I cannot claim the source as I got this text as an e-mail in Czech without any copyright information. The text was not difficult and full of interesting information. That is why I thought a clip with football players might raise their interest in the topic. I also found the topic of relationships a sensible alternative and it seems that the choice was correct. ad 3) It would have been profitable to bring some pictures from the recent newspapers. discrimination and intolerance in the world with its diversity. which actually happened. as it was time-consuming to write them and also I needed a lot of space on the board for other activities and it would have been useful to be able not to erase some of the information but keep it somewhere for the whole lesson. was how little people live in the same conditions as themselves. It also gave the students more possibilities regarding the follow-up activities.2 Lesson notes and evaluation ad 1)&2) These activities went very easily – the only think I would do differently next time is that I would have the definitions written in advance on a flip-chart. even if the numbers were not exact. I know from the previous lessons that the boys in the class are all interested in football and some of them play in their local teams. although most of the students did not remember the cases exactly (they did not know where the cases happened or the names of the people involved) the speaking filled the requirement to bring up real examples. However. poster or on a foil to be put on on the OHP. The only drawback of the Emily faces racism clip that I was afraid of was that it is actually a text accompanied 59 . The truth is I did not check the corectness of the numbers but in my opinion. that one of the information they found surprising. I translated the text to English as I found it really suitable to be used in the class. What I also found positive was the fact.3. the text would still serve the purpose of making the students realize that there is no place for racism.

Generally. I am afraid that this is specific for the students in the Czech Republic – they are not used to writing. They are not used to sorting out thoughts and ideas through writing and students find it too demanding. 60 . the text with the music are compiled in a very moving way. so this was not a problem after all. Positive was that they all seem to appreciate the choice they were given and they kind of naturally made groups they found comfortable to work with. the written assignments appear at the university education and very rarely before that.with music. It seems to me that they vote for speaking rather than writing because it seems to them that they do not have to make so much effort as for writing. Fortunately. students are not asked to write about various issues within the primary and secondary education. A bit disappointing element of this lesson plan was that none of the students actually chose the writing. The groups were made more on the basis of being friends then being on the same level of English.

I ask the students to close their eyes. I ask them to work in pairs and try to write down as many forms of water as they can think of. After 2 or 3 min. I write a few of their suggestions on the board. taking a shower.After a while (a minute) I ask them to tell me what are all the sounds they hear. brainstorming (12 min) To introduce the topic and create the atmosphere Procedure: 1. cooking…) and how much water they think they use I elicit the word ´water´from them and ask them what do they associate with water. relax and listen.stm) it is about 300 l/day in Europe and 600 l/day in USA. 2.? Have you ever……………………? Do you like………………………? Do you and your family…………? 61 .bbc. I let them listen to a relaxing CD with the sound of rain in the rainforest.1 Lesson plan – 90 min 1) Listening. I ask the students to complete these questions so that they are related to water. I will tell the students after the quiz that according to the BBC website (http://news. I write any interesting vocabulary that comes up on the board 3. How often do you ………………? How many times a day do you…. (washing. 2) Speaking (10 min. The last step of this introduction for the students is to discuss and write in pairs what is water used every day for in their lives.? Can you………………………….4 World Water Day (March 22) 4.) Procedure: 1.

62 . The answers are marked A-O.g.1) per pair. the answers are hidden in very short texts.2). 3.).e. Before we start with the actual quiz I put on the board three columns ● agreeing ● disagreeing ● expressing opinion and we shortly revise appropriate phrases 2. The students are given one copy of the World Water Day Quiz (see Appendix 4.) Procedure: 1. about 3 lines each (see Appendix 4.Have you got……………………. While the ss are working on the quiz I will tack the short texts on slips of paper around the class.? 2. A half of the world´s fresh water lies within the boarders of Canada.) and some are chosen to shock a bit (Every 14 seconds a child under five dies because of using unsafe water. I put some of the suggestions on the board and students ask each other their questions and try to find out more details. The students should walk around the class with their quizes and their task is to match the answers with the questions 1-15 and write the letters identifying the correct answers in the boxes and check if they have chosen correct answers in their quiz. 4) Quiz – reading and matching to check the answers (20 min) Procedure: There are 15 questions in the quiz. they discuss the answers. I explain that today (22nd March) is the World Water Day. i. The quiz questions and answers are taken from several sources with the aim to raise awareness about the problem with clean and drinkable water. Some of the facts are interesting (e. The students are to find the answers for themselves in a text. not simply give out the answers.pairwork(8 min. To present the facts and figures to the students in a context. 3) Quiz .

or make progress toward solving. (Learning About Water Access Through a Service-Learning Fundraising Project) 6) End of the lesson The posters are displayed and the students look at them. The crosswords might also be used in any of the following lessons for revision by the whole class or as an extra activity for fast-finishers. too.5) Students´ choice task (30 min. remember you can also draw pictures to illustrate the words) • choose one of the maps (see Appendix 4. in pairs or in a group. 63 . If there is still enough time I copy the created crosswords and the students try to do them.3) and with your partner discuss and answer these questions: MAPS: What are three (or more) key ideas being presented in this map or graph? What are three (or more) pieces of numeric data that you find surprising or significant? Make three statements comparing or contrasting two or more pieces of data from your map.) Individual/Pairwork /Groupwork In this part of the lesson the students will have an opportunity to choose a task they find the most interesting and they choose if they want to do it individually. What do you think can be done to solve. one of the problems identified on this map? note: This task is taken from the Do you knowH2o? website. The options to choose from: • • create a World Water Day crossword (start with the crossword. they might comment on them. then add the numbers and clues) create a mind-map/ poster with vocabulary connected with water (decide first what categories of words and what words you want to include.

ad 2) The students were supposed to complete seven questions with their own ideas. One of the weaker students did not seem to be doing anything (this student is not very communicative but he chose to do the task involving reading maps and disscussing the information with a partner) and I thought the task was too difficult for him. Originally.4. 5) The students chose their tasks. I told them to ask the questions the ´neighbour on the other side´. ad 3)&4) The students´ reactions to the questions revealed that they really found the questions interesting and shocking as it had been meant. All the students seemed to identify the correct answers without difficulties. which makes them answer in English. The only problem I usually in a situation when the students are really interested in something they start speaking Czech to be able to express their opinion quickly and precisely. I offered the student a possibility to change 64 . That way all the students finished at about the same time. I adjusted the instructions a little when I saw that some of the students are almost finished while others have difficulties: I asked the students to finish any five questions.e. the one they had not discussed it with. Each of the students had their own copy of the test and walk around the class reading the short texts. as I had noticed that some of them were discussing the questions with their neighbours while completing them. ad. Unlike in the lesson on International Day for Tolerance there were some students for each task. I think this pat of the lesson went very well and what I find positive here is that the students were actually able to read about two pages of text without realizing it and without finding it boring or difficult.2 Lesson notes and evaluation ad 1) The beginning of the lesson went exactly as I had planned it and the students within the brainstorming suggested exactly the words I had expected them to.i. I asked the students for examples of the completed questions and. in this case I was pleased the quiz had the desired effect. I wanted the students to check the answers around the class in pairs as well but I realized later that a copy of quiz for each student would be better and more practical. On the other hand. I usually ask them in a ´funny´ deep voice to ´Speak English please´ and then walk around and ask the pairs questions in English.

he still was not working as his partner he expected to work with was disscussing the questions with another person. look them up in a dictionary and make a list of the expressions with their translations. highlight all the expressions connected with water. I decided to solve the situation by offering the student totally different task – to look through the short texts. 65 .the task but he refused. I decided to let the students finish the work the following day. Problem of this part of the lesson was timing as the 30 minutes I had planned for this activity were not enough for the students to finish their work. However. I was very pleased when he actually really started working on this task and till the end of the lesson managed to produce a list I could then place on the notice board.

I explain that the three Rs stand for Reduce. Procedure: 1. I put these questions on the board for the students to discuss and ask each other in pairs: What should people reduce to help the environment? You can reuse clothes. repair – if you repair things. and you do not create waste. 4. (e.1). Reuse. 2) Speaking ´RRR´(12 min. Then I ask the students to listen to the whole song and write down words or parts of the lyrics they have understood.5 Earth Day (April 22) 5. After the song finishes I write the words the students suggest on the board and ask the students what the song is about. 3. you do not have to buy new. 2.) Procedure: 1. I write the words on the board again and ask the students which of them they think are connected to environment and its protection. I tell the students that today (Aprill 22) is the Earth Day.g. I ask individual students for examples of answers to the questions. They have two minutes to do this. I let the students listen to a short part of the song and ask if they know it. Recycle.) 3. 66 .1 Lesson plan – 90 min 1) Listening – a song (8 min) To introduce the topic song Earth Song by Michael Jackson (see Appendix 5. I ask the students to think of words starting with ´RE´ and write them down. How? Do you reuse anything else at home? What? How? Are there bins for recycling near where you live? For what materials? What do you and your family recycle? 5. 2.

At the beginning of the game each student has imaginary ₤10 for their betting. the best possibility is to have the statements copied on a foil and use OHP.competition (15 min) Procedure: 1. We check the answers together. When the first statement is shown the students decide which possibility they think is correct. however. write it down and next to it write a sum they bet according how sure they are about the answer. Before the correct version is revealed all the students at the same time pick a card with the letter according to their choice. The surer they are. The others lose the money they have bet. check if everybody has done so and give out the answer. Students get copies of Why Do We Recycle text (see Appendix 5. b. 67 . 4) Lottery . 2. 4. one with a B and one with a C written on the card.) 2. one with an A. 3. (Within the questions they are also asked to remember several things – I will ask them again later during the lesson.3) Each student needs a pen and paper. They read the text and answer the questions.(see Appendix 5. The students who have chosen it get twice as much money as they bet. the more money they bet.) Procedure: 1. There are 10 statesments the students need to complete with correct possibility chosen from three: a.2).3) Reading (15 min. note: There is a way to see how many students guessed correctly: Each student needs 3 cards. The statements can be read by the teacher or written on the board one by one. c. The winner is the student who has the most money at the end of the game. They write the sum on the top of their paper. The students have to keep track of their money. I let the students bet.

I tell them there is website called ´Treehugger´ (www. a polystyren dish that frozen meet is usually sold on. I ask individual students for their suggestions. Look at the objects I have brought to the class and think of a way how to reuse the objects. pet etc. a plastic bottle. I ask them to try to write it in pairs. 7. When I see that most of the students have finished I tell all the students to stop and and not to worry if they have not managed to do all the ten situations. 6. They fold the handout in half so that they can see only the ´How to green your…´ part. (see Appendix 5. We check the answers and I ask the students if they still remember the answers from the Why Do We Recycle text. They can discuss it in pairs. outdoor sports. (the objects include an old CD. The students unfold the handout. a plastic bag. an old 30 cm ruler. 3. which is not usable as a ruler anymore) • Write 120-150 words about who you think is the greenest person in the family and why.5) Reading and matching (20 min. I ask the students to think of one way to make their gardening. Include also information about yourself: do you do anything to help the environment? What? or Why not? 68 .) Procedure: 1. (How friendly my lifestyle is to the environment. a ´credit card´ that I have received in a commercial letter and never activated. where I have found guides to be green in various areas.4) 4. I put on the board this question: How green are you? and ask the students if they know what the question means. green.) 2. The students get one handout You Can Be Greener. read the second half and match the halves of the suggestions. a tin.treehugger. 6) Task according to the students´ choice (20 min) The students can: • • Create a wordsearch with Earth Day and Environment words.

ad 4) We use this kind of game to revise grammar when the students see a sentence written on the board and should decide if it is correct or not and bet on their answer.2 Lesson notes and evaluation ad 1) Although most of the students knew the song. etc. and also ´recycle´. It took almost 20 minutes which I of course appreciated as all the students were speaking in the second part where questions were given. 69 . They only have two cards in this particular case.5. The song is also available on www. What is more. That way everybody has a chance to be successful. I decided to use this activity as we always have fun even though the topic usually is grammar rules. The whole speaking activity took longer than 12 minutes. the winner must be lucky as well. The argument for doing so was that it is not translated by anyone. ´repair´. acompanied by a video suitable for this topic. I heard about it from my friend about two years ago. it is the real language and that the vocabulary range was within the frame of comprehensible input for the students I teach. ´represent´. ad 3) When I was looking for a text that could be used for reading in this lesson I wanted to find some about the Czech Republic as I thought it might be more interesting for the students. This time actually one of the weaker students won as he took risks with betting. The positive thing about this paticular ´environment´song is that the students could understand the lyrics very well. one with a tick and one with a cross. I decided to use this text in the end. ad 2) The students suggested words such as ´reliability´. More facts would have been even better. I did not expect the students to know ´reuse´ or to remember ´reduce´ but I thought someone might bring the ´recycle´ as it is very similar to the Czech expression adn it is closely connected to the topic.this activity actually was made up to elicit this I am afraid it will be better to use a song that would be more up-to-date. the knowledge is not what plays the main role here. This game is not my idea.

touch them and move them. 70 . The groups had 10 minutes to think of as many ways to use their object as possible before it is thrown away to the recycling bin. I encouraged the students to be creative and 5) All the students were able to think of some more or less original ideas. As for the information from the reading. The activity went as expected. only two pairs of students did not remember the answers. All ideas counted if the group could explain them. The group who thought of the most was the winner. This activity was originally meant especially for the kinesthetic students as they could work with real things. ad 5) We unfortunately had only about 12 minutes at the end of the lesson so I decided to put the students in groups of 3 and divided the objects There were 6 groups and 7 objects so each group got one.

Therefore. The goal was to compose lessons that would be interesting. here English. What is more. useful regarding the topics and enjoyable regarding the type of activities. which itself carries the notion of a mixed group. There are usually about twenty students who create a group which for many reasons might be labelled as a mixed-ability/ heterogenous one. which makes up to four-years´ difference in the time of their experience with English. Apart from this. 71 . some at the secondary school. the students also have different personal history of learning English. It means that there are completely new students every year. Materials that I have created. for some of the students English might have been somewhat of a minor concern in the previous year or years. The students come to the class from different schools. To make the lessons enjoyable for all the students I applied the methodology of teaching mixed-ability/ heterogenous classes. As it has been explained in the theoretical part.Conclusion When I was trying to decide about my project I knew I wanted to work on something I could practically use in my own class. for some of them started learning the language at the primary school. My ambition was to create lesson plans where I would not use usual textbooks but other materials. found and adjusted to the needs of the students in my class. namely a one year intensive English course for students who finished their secondary studies the previous year. it does not automatically mean that all the students chose English as their maturita subject as it is not obligatory yet. whom the students have had various relationships with. The reasons why I chose to do so are explained in the following paragraphs. Additionaly. all this together with other aspects plays a role in the learners approach to the subject in question. when I meet them they all have been taught by a number of more or less successful and qualified teachers. although a part of the name of the course is ´aftermaturita´ course. For the past six years I have been teaching at a language school.

a competitive student would enjoy competitive activities. To be able to create such materials I had to find out more about this issue. Theoretical Part In the theoretical part the origin of the term ´mixed-ability´ classes is described. When we started learning about the methodology and techniques suitable for heterogeneous classes during our methodology courses here at the university. 72 . I decided that it was exactly what I needed to make the lessons interesting and more accessible to all the students in the class.e. One chapter was devoted to motivation as a key factor in teaching and learning. a student who feels stressed or uncomfortable is not motivated and does not learn as much as somenone who is enjoying him/herself. The term ´students preferences´ generally means types of activities the students find more pleasurable than others.I think the reasons listed in the preceding paragraphs should be a sufficient justification of why I view my class as a mixed-ability/heterogeneous one. Preferences might result from the student´s personality (e. To say it in a simple way. Thus a part of the theory covers types of activities used in the class and one extensive chapter contains information about different learning styles. motivation and its crucial role in education is the reason why to make an effort to meet the needs of all the students in the class. The one whose role is to motivate is the teacher. It is followed by the theory behind the uniqueness of individuals by listing and explaining the reasons why each human being differs in many ways from another one. thus a part of the theoretical section deals with the teacher´s personality.g. an introvert would choose individual rather than a group activity) or from the way he/she perceives and processes information (i. To meet the students´ needs and to teach to the students´ satisfaction the teacher has to be aware of students´ preferences in learning. learning styles). Actually.

Practical Part For the practical part I have chosen to create my own materials. I have already pointed out several times that the course I teach is an intensive one with the number of lessons a week amounting to twenty, i.e. four lessons (actually two double-periods) a day. Consequently, there is enough time to be spent not only following the studentsbooks but also exploring additional topics and activities. Moreover, such activities and materials are always welcomed by the learners as a kind of animation of the lessons. At first, I considered creating materials concerning holidays and festivals in English speaking countries as a somehow logical topic. Having realized how much has been already created, published and presented not only on the Internet but also in various books, and how many materials the students must have come across during their studies, I sensed that it would be advisable to think of something different. Eventually, international observance and significant days seemed to be the solution. I made a decision to pay the attention to these days and not to the holidays and festivals for several reasons. One reason has already been explained above. As another reason I see the fact that English is not tied only to the culture of the countries where it is spoken as the first language anymore. Learning English does not necessarily mean learning about the Anglo-Saxon culture because English has become an international language. People working in multinational companies all over the world communicate in English, even though they are not actually working in an English speaking country and even though for none of them English is their mother tongue. Yet another argument supporting this choice is the growing importance of people´s awareness of the global issues such as the enviroment, poverty, human rights etc. After all, the cross-sectional topics listed in the national curriculum reflect the need to bring the pupils and students to think about these topics. The practical part thus consists of lesson plans based on international observance and significant days. The lesson plans are complemented by evaluation of the lessons which have actually been taught. Each lesson plan includes activities suitable for heterogeneous classes as they have been described and explained in the theoretical part of this project: activities with differentiated instructions according to the students´ level


of knowledge of English or the students learning styles, competitive and cooperative activities, pair/group work and individual activities. For myself this project brought immense profit in two ways. Firstly, with the support of the theory I studied to be able to write this work, I applied the methodology in practical teaching. Although I had aspired to approach each student individually before, giving students differentiated instructions or a number of tasks to choose from was a new and inspiring experience rewarded by the students appreciation. Secondly, to find the materials for the lesson plans I relied on the Internet. Numerous hours spent searching various websites ment reading websites I would otherwise most probably never visit and thus my knowledge of the issues investigated for the lesson plans have widened incredibly. I also discovered the Youtube server for myself and my students as an invaluable source of real life English with videos that represent a vast amount of materials suitable for both visual and auditory learners. What is more it is easily accessible for all and the students can watch the same clip as many times as they need to understand. In conclusion, I hope that the whole project and materials that have been created within this project might be found useful by any teacher teaching at either the same type of course as the one I teach (i.e. one-year intensive course) or at any secondary school. The lesson plans do not necessarily have to be taught as 90-minute lessons, it is possible to choose and adapt only parts or single activities.


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1: Earth Song lyrics (a text) Appendix 5.1: International symbol of deaf/hard hearing people (a pictogram) Appendix 1.3: World Health Organization maps (3 maps) 5 Earth Day Appendix 5.5: Manual alphabet (pictures of individual letters formed by hands) 2 World Food Day Appendix 2.4: Short texts (9 short texts to be cut up) Appendix 1.5: Gap-filling – group C (a text with gaps) 3 International Day for Tolerance Appendix 3.4: You Can Be Greener (a handout with a table) Appendix 6: VAK Questionnaire (questionnaire) Appendix 7: Students´ Preferences Questionnaire (questionnaire) 78 .2: Compassion Through Experience (a text) Appendix 2.1: World Water Day Quiz (15 questions with a key) Appendix 4.2: Quiz answers to be cut up (a text to be cut up) Appendix 4.1: The World and We (a text to be cut up) Appendix 3.2: Quotes about TOLERANCE (mixed up quotes) 4 World Water Day Appendix 4.1: World Food Day 2007 logo (a picture) Appendix 2.2: 10 rules when speaking to people with hearing loss (pictures) Appendix 1.List of Appendices 1 International Deaf People´s Day Appendix 1.3: Earth Day Recycling Lottery questions (10 questions with a key) Top Green Facts (a text) Appendix 5.2: Why do we recycle? (a text) Appendix 5.4: Gap-filling – group B (a text with gaps) Appendix 2.3: Tips for communication with deaf or hard hearing people (a table of 10 tips) Appendix 1.3: Gap-filling – group A (a text with gaps) Appendix 2.

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