Catering for Learner Diversity in the English Language Curriculum: Speaking and Writing Skills

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Catering for Learner Diversity in the English Language Curriculum:

Speaking and Writing Skills

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Introductions

Have you been to a workshop on learner diversity before?

What do you want to get out of this workshop today?

How do you currently address

learner diversity in your classes?

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Aims

Exploring activities and materials for lesson planning

Raising awareness of strategies to cater for students’ diverse interests and

abilities in the classroom

Examining considerations when addressing learner

diversity in the development of productive skills

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Outline

Part 1: Overview of key concepts

Part 2: Speaking activities

Part 3: Writing activities

Part 4: Consolidation

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How far do you agree?

All students should be expected to aim for the same level of achievement.

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How far do you agree?

Catering for learner diversity requires more lesson planning and more materials design.

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How far do you agree?

Catering for learner diversity means more individual support at tables.

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What is learner

diversity? In what ways do learners differ from each other?

mixed ability (in each

different skill)

different

learning styles different

interests

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What is learner

diversity? In what ways do learners differ from each other?

mixed ability (in each

different skill)

different

learning styles

different levels of motivation different

interests

different amounts of world

knowledge

different learning pace

different amounts of parental support

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Student (age 14)

S: Teacher is write something at the end. He writes me how to do it better. I wish I know it before.

T: Why do you wish you could have known that before?

S: I don’t make the mistake if I know that.

T: But now you know for the future?

S: Yes but it’s finish now so no need. Waste my

time to learn it after.

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Common student complaints

I can’t do this task!

I don’t want to do this task!

I can’t do the task in this way!

I don’t want to do the task in this way!

I can’t work in this atmosphere!

I don’t want to work in this atmosphere!

too hard

boring

too easy

not useful disruptive

not

encouraging not

motivating

not

inspiring stressful

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P_o_u_t Pr_c_ss

_ea_ _ i_ _ E_ _i _o_ _e_ _

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Product Process

Learning Environment

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Product Process

Learning Environment

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Expecting students to complete a different task on the topic, e.g.

student A produces a comic to explain a concept, and student B to produces a poster to explain the same concept

Expecting students to create their own homework assignments sometimes [as long as these contain required elements]

Expecting students to produce a different level of language in their work, e.g. Student A needs to label the diagram, and student B needs to explain it.

Student Problems

“I can’t do this task!”

“I don’t want to do this task!”

Product

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Product Process

Learning Environment

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Enabling some students to complete the task alone and some to complete the task in pairs/groups

Designing tasks which require several stages of re-drafting work, so that support, input and feedback can be provided appropriately at each stage.

Giving students specific roles each during a group task, e.g. student A is responsible for encouraging participation, student B is responsible for the grammar, student C is responsible for keeping the pen

Student Problems

“I can’t do the task in this way!”

“I don’t want to do the task in this way!”

Process

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Product Process

Learning Environment

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Developing classroom routines that enable students to seek help when they want it, e.g. student write post it notes on their desks through the lesson, and the teacher can come around at an

appropriate time later, to help them

Encouraging reflective tasks, where students talk about what they have learned and how they have learned it

Designing hands-on activities, or activities which involve standing up, turning chairs around, moving seats, etc.

Creating a classroom atmosphere that encourages mistakes as an interesting learning point, not as a failure.

Student Problems

“I can’t work in this atmosphere!”

“I don’t want to work in this atmosphere!”

Learning Environment

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Learning Environment Process

Product

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carpet patch

Content Activities Resources Product

Environment

Teaching strategies

Pace

Assistance

Testing Class

Homework

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Speaking activities

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Picture hole task

1.Look at your picture. Where do you think it is? What do you think is in the hole?

2. How are the pictures connected?

3. What are each of the constructions made of?

4. Before we watch the video about living bridges, what do you think the following numbers represent?

• 10 years

• 50 people

• 500 years

5. Watch the video and check your ideas

6. How do you like the idea of a living bridge?

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Three to Twelve Activity

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S u s t a i n a b l e

R u r a l

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Thinking Hats Activity

De Bono

1. difficulties,

risks, weaknesses

2. benefits, positives

3. facts, data

4. feelings, emotions

5. creative ideas,

solutions, alternatives

6. focus, summary

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Language Map

Tourism is developing at a rapid rate in many areas of the world.

Some places build up urban cities with all sorts of tourist attractions and shopping outlets to cater for these tourists. Other places focus on attracting tourists to appreciate the natural beauty of their

landscape. Eco-tourism is a type of tourism which aims to encourage tourists to visit natural areas, while causing minimal damage to the environment at the same time.

You are going to write a letter to the Hong Kong Tourist Board, encouraging them to promote eco-tourism more in Hong Kong.

Discuss what to include in your letter.

You might want to consider:

•what areas of natural beauty Hong Kong has

•what kind of things eco-tourists would be able to do in Hong Kong

•why eco-tourism would be good for Hong Kong

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Writing activities

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Onion Ring Brainstorm

A visual record of how knowledge and

understanding builds up gradually through the lesson.

Image made available by Ghmyrtle under a Creative Commons

Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license Image adapted from image made available by Aconcagua under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license

Image adapted from image made available in the public domain

Image adapted from image made available in the public domain

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Jigsaw

Picture jigsaw

Expressions jigsaw

Sentence jigsaw

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Improving a Model Text

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Follow up activities

Read one activity to your group and discuss together:

•How might this help engage students?

•How might this help cater for learner diversity?

•How might you need to adapt this for your own classes?

Then take another activity and discuss it together.

Figure

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References

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