Number one for English language teachers

Mixed-ability teens: Managing different speeds and energy levels

Type: Reference material

Understanding that students work at different speeds and energy levels.

  • Allow students time to think about tasks

You can do this by setting up student-centred activities where students work in small groups. This means they are not all competing to respond to your questions.

You may set them a writing task in response to a reading or listening text and they work together, helping each other in a less stressful manner.

For example, they could listen to the Beatles’ song – She’s leaving home. Ask them to write the note that the girl leaves her parents or the dialogue the parents have once they discover their daughter has gone.

If groups are mixed (less and more able students together) peer teaching can take place, with students helping each other by explaining language points in mother tongue, explaining vocabulary. You may be surprised at who helps who.

Other methodology tips for teaching mixed-ability teens

Mixed-ability teens: Addressing all of the students

Mixed-ability teens: Managing mixed-level classes

Mixed-ability teens: Graded dictation

Mixed-ability teens: Managing different learning styles

Mixed-ability teens: Outside knowledge

Mixed-ability teens: Problem-solving

Mixed-ability teens: Allowing students to work at their own level

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Readers' comments (1)

  • I have a group that is very difficult to work with, because most of them are mischievous... this technique is very intersting and i work with it as much as i can, because it has proved to be really effective.

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