Catering for Learner Diversity in the English Language Curriculum: Reading and Listening Skills

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Catering for Learner Diversity in the English Language Curriculum:

Reading and Listening Skills



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?



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 receptive skills



Part 1: Overview of key concepts

Part 2: Reading activities

Part 3: Listening activities

Part 4: Consolidation


How far do you agree?

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

1 5


How far do you agree?

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

1 5


How far do you agree?

Catering for learner diversity means more complicated teaching methods.

1 5


What is learner

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

mixed ability (in each

different skill)


learning styles different



What is learner

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

mixed ability (in each

different skill)


learning styles

different levels of motivation different


different amounts of world


different learning pace

different amounts of parental support


Student (age 13)

Teacher is telling me meaning but only one time.

It is go into my ears and then fall out.

I try to pick up meaning but already fallen on floor.

I look under my chair, but teacher is punish me because I don’t sitting.

Then I sitting and teacher is happy but my word falling on floor.

Maybe other student find it and pick up it and he can be happy. But I never find it.

I think have many words messing in the floor.


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


too easy

not useful disruptive


encouraging not



inspiring stressful


Porucdt Porescs

Lanernig Evorinmnet


Product Process

Learning Environment


Product Process

Learning Environment


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

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

Setting your own expectations according to student needs, e.g. you expect “all students will be able to…some students will be able to…..a few students will be able to…”

Student Problems

“I can’t do this task!”

“I don’t want to do this task!”



Product Process

Learning Environment


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

Providing a glossary or different support to weaker students

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!”



Product Process

Learning Environment


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

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


Learning Environment Process



carpet patch

Content Activities Resources Product


Teaching strategies



Testing Class



Reading activities


1.What record did he break?

2.How did he travel?

3.How long did the journey take?


Colour coded reading

1.Take any 4 colours and use them to underline parts of your text.

Write your colour code on the back of your paper (so the next group can’t see it)

colour A: worried, concerned colour B: cautious, sensible colour C: excited, amazing colour D: humble, modest

2. Swap texts with another group and try to work out their code.

3. Watch the video


Transparency reading

1.Underline 3 key ideas in your text (on the transparency).


underline 3 new facts you’d like to remember

underline the main idea from each of the 3 paragraphs

underline 3 opinions you agree/disagree with

underline 3 ideas you want to find out more about

2. Remove the transparency, turn over the text so you can’t see it, and re-write or paraphrase the idea you underlined.

3. Use your transparency as notes to tell another group about 3 things you’ve learned from your text


Pyramid reading

1.Answer the questions in your pyramid.

2. If you can’t answer a question, write another question to replace

it in the pyramid.


Listening activities


Prediction tasks – pre-watching

Pre-watching: look at these expressions and predict what the video might be about.

•We were watching from behind the fence.

•Definitely don’t try this.

•Stop fighting.


Box build brainstorm

A visual record of how knowledge and understanding builds up gradually through the lesson.


Prediction tasks – sound off

Video - Watch with the sound off (0:00 – 1:00)

•What did your expressions refer to?

•Prediction –

Who is this man?

Where is he?

Why does he have this relationship with the lions?


Physical response task

1.Divide your cards into positive, negative and neutral.

2.Looking at your cards, what do you think the rest of the video will tell us about?

3.Watch the video (0:00 – 2:16) and put the cards in order while you watch

4.You will be assigned 3 cards each. When you hear your expressions, raise your hand.



Follow up questioning

Why are the lions so friendly with this man?

How does the reporter feel during this interview?

What is the man’s attitude towards the danger he is in?

Do you think it is a good idea to treat animals like this?

Would you like to have this kind of relationship with lions?

How do you think we could better protect this species?


Traffic light listening

How much do you know about the topics already? Colour the traffic lights.

Red = I don’t know anything about this topic

Orange = I think I know something about this topic already Green = I know a fair bit about this topic already

Listen to the audio (my weekend) and make notes. Then change the colour of your traffic lights if you want to.

Now answer the questions on the worksheet


Differentiated support

Audio – my hero

Which language support card were you given?

•key words from most sentences

•key verbs from some sentences

•the people mentioned in the audio

•exact expressions you will hear in the listening, but not the whole audio transcript.

Compare your cards together and discuss how the different cards can support different students


Cooperative listening

Audio – my hero

Thinking Hats (De Bono)

difficulties, risks, weaknesses

benefits, positives

facts, data

feelings, emotions

creative ideas,

solutions, alternatives

focus, summary




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