The next challenge I will describe is the non-homogeneous group settings

The next challenge I will describe is the non-homogeneous group settings. A language learning environment where the instructor does not encounter the problem of mixed ability learners is almost non-existent even though they are in the same level. Diverse factors including motivation, learning ability, talent, backgrounds, and etc, vary from one individual to other and, as a result, the gap among the same level’s learners widen at every level. The issue of mixed ability learners was prevalent in my theoretical and teaching practice at Canada College. It was a great challenge as a teacher to ensure effective learning in a mixed ability classroom. The lesson plans and classroom activities were designed in such a way as to be neither too demanding for the weak learners while remaining challenging for stronger students. I used principally material from the website Breaking News English which divides its content in levels. Although the site was complete, I nonetheless had to modify the content in order to have it suit the students. I changed content words, syntax, as well as inverting the order of activities. Indeed, the objective was to keep the entire class engaged in the course content while grasping key grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation concepts.
I drew on the strategies Penny Ur whose scholarship was mentioned during the theory classes at Canada College. Ur believes, “all classes of more than one learner are in fact heterogeneous” since there are many factors that differentiate the learners from each other. She has shown that some of the main differences between learners in heterogeneous classes are language learning ability, language knowledge, cultural background, learning style, attitude to the language, mother tongue, just to name a few. Having taken into account the points Ur mentions as well as a few others during my preparation time, I was able to perceive in the class that the students enjoyed a healthy study environment.
Every mixed-ability class has students who complete activities early as well as those who finish late as well as students who do not finish at all. After taking into consideration this potential pitfall during the lesson planning for the peer-teaching along with the practicum time I decided to prepare busy work for early finishers. For example, I had early finishers work on a word search related to the day’s theme. Other busy time activities included underling the day’s grammar point and circulation the day’s vocabulary in the printed material I distributed in class. As Carol Tomlinson has poignantly noted “there is no single ‘right way’ to create an effectively differentiated classroom”. Therefore, rather than aptitude grouping, accepting the multiplicity of students and plan the lessons according to individual learners requirements for most advantageous learning as pupils can be varied based on a multiplicity of factors.