Techniques for dealing with mixed ability students: graded dictation.
Here’s an example of a graded dictation at three different levels:
The text is three jokes – that the teacher can read out. It’s nice for students to be encouraged to listen to something that can engage them on different levels like something funny. But be careful - jokes are often hard to understand in a foreign language.
A frying saucer!
The jumper, of course - vests are completely 'armless!
Have you heard about the new footballing exam designed to test players' teamwork?
If they don't pass, they fail!
Students who are stronger get a blank sheet of paper to write the dictation on, students who need some help get sheet A and students who you feel need a lot of support get sheet B.
Sheet A – fill in the gaps
A _______ saucer
___ a jumper and a vest ___ a ______, which one would ____?
The jumper, _______ - vests are _________ 'armless
Have you _________ about the new footballing ________ designed to _______ players' teamwork?
If they don't _______, they fail.
Sheet B – circle the word you hear
A flying / frying / fried saucer
If a jumper and a vest / west / nest had a fight, which one would win / lose / draw?
The jumper, of course - vests are completely 'armless
Have you heard about the new footballing quiz / exam / test designed to test players' / payers’ / prayers’ teamwork?
If they don't pass, they fail.
The advantage of graded activities like these is that everyone is working on the same text at a level they find comfortable. The main disadvantage is that teachers need to prepare more material for a lesson.
Teenagers: Teaching mixed-ability teens
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Mixed-ability teens: Graded dictation