Table of Contents
Teachers are required to cater to a wide range of students’ needs, in an effort to help them achieve high learning standards. This diversity of needs is ascribable to the fact that students come from varying cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. In addition, there are those officially or unofficially considered gifted whereas others need individual instructive plans to deal with their weaknesses. It is not a small feat to adapt instructions to every learner’s needs and skills, while advancing their education. This makes it necessary to gain better understanding of differentiation and mixed-ability teaching. As emphasised by Roberts (2016, p.43), teaching a mixed-ability class is one of the numerous challenges facing instructors in the contemporary education sector. The author points out that such a class comprises of a group of pupils with varying levels of skills, interest, and learning abilities. In recognition of these dissimilarities within the context of teaching English as a foreign language (EFL), Al-Subaiei (2017, p.182) notes that instructors are increasingly identifying the student uniqueness as one of the greatest elements that invariably shape the teaching process and impact students’ understanding in the long-term. Given the complexity of such highlighted circumstances, this study seeks to explore differentiation and mixed-ability teaching, its characteristic challenges and strategies that EFL teachers can utilise to overcome them.
Differentiation and Mixed-ability Definition
According to Pham (2012, p.15), differentiation refers to an approach in which instructors adapt teaching to meet students’ different learning needs. The author is emphatic that differentiation does not entail specific provisions or formally developed models, but instead functions within a collection of general guidelines which continuously encourage instructors to adapt the content of curriculum, the way they teach it, and the manner in which they gauge students’ learning. Author further provides a differentiation approach, where teachers alter curricular components by manipulating the depth and intricacy of constituent topics. Also providing a comparable definition, Wilson (2009) denotes that differentiation is typically founded upon formal or familiar evaluations to establish individuals’ interests, level of skills, and learning needs exclusive to each. Therefore, according to this definition and its key focus, efficient content differentiation takes place through configuring key ideas, skills and concepts within a subject in ways that make sure the connect the interests, needs and skills of varied learners. Dixon and McConnell (2014, pp. 112-113) proposes employment of an assortment of grouping techniques and teaching approaches to differentiate the manner in which instruction takes place. For instance, teachers can adopt student-based teaching, which allows learners to examine certain topics more intently than others, on the basis of their interests. An example of the latter is project-centered learning. Regarding grouping tactics, teachers can use one-on-one, small-group or whole-class instruction.
A mixed-ability class, on the other hand, refers to a classroom where students have a wide range of learning and achievement levels. Students in such classes are dissimilar in terms of strengths and weaknesses. These students also use different learning techniques. Although different researchers adopt varying definitions for a mixed-ability class, there are several parallels that one can draw from most. These include the acknowledgement of students’ differences in terms of subject preferences, learning styles, and understanding capacity, as well as, in grammatical knowledge and precision, vocabulary size, and receptive skills (Al-Subaiei, 2017, p.182; Ansari, 2013, p.110). There are also aspects such as student motivation, self-discipline and general attitude towards learning. The irrefutable observation is that there are numerous factors that distinguish one student from another. It is this dissimilarity that poses a challenge for instructors, especially in languages, who lack the skills necessary and teaching techniques to cope with mixed-ability classes. Judging from the distinctive definitions of differentiation and mixed-ability, it is discernible that the two are intertwined. In essence, differentiation involves adapting instruction to a mixed-ability class.
Incidence of Mixed-ability
As highlighted by Taylor and Tereshchenko (2016, p.328), heterogeneous classes represent classes comprising of students with varying proficiency levels. The author suggests that these terms could be misleading since there are no learners that are similar in all aspects and as a result, uniform classes are inexistent. Based on this outlook, mixed-ability classes are not exclusive to certain environs. All the same, there are places where such classes are more prevalent than in others. For example, in a foreign country where English is a second language, the classes are likely to feature students with varying levels of proficiency in the language. There are other factors that influence the attributes of learners that constitute a mixed-ability class. Key among these factors include students’ age or maturity; intellect and multiple intellects; learning styles; mother tongue; language levels; language aptitude; learner independence; cultural background; and attitude or motivation towards the discipline. This list of factors that lead to occurrence of mixed-ability classes is not exhaustive, but provides vital insight into why they exist and are more widespread in some places than in others.
Government Mandate in Relation to Differentiation
There is a widespread misconception that differentiation in mixed-ability classrooms is a novel concept in education and could be a trend that will pass with time. This is, however not the case since differentiation has existed since the early inception of the idea of a single room schoolhouse, thus categorizing students into multi-leveled clusters (Anderson, 2007, p.52). Subsequent changes in federal laws have also contributed to the class changes necessitating differentiation in instruction. For instance, following the enactment of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 and later, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) of 2004, instructors have progressively faced enhanced student diversity in classrooms (Stanford and Reeves, 2009, p. 3). The NCLB Act demands greater accountability in classes through engagement of highly qualified instructors. Additionally, both the NCLB Act and IDEA require teachers to individually deal with cases of students specially classified for intervention.
It is also important to note that, IDEA put emphasis on educating students with various disabilities together with those without disabilities. As a result, differentiation of teaching is one of the primary vehicles via which educators can meet the provisions of these federal laws. Students that have disabilities are presently assessed based on similar academic standards as those enrolled in general education programs, as can be seen in adoption of standardised national tests. IDEA has been instrumental in ensuring that disabled students are accorded the same opportunities as ordinary ones, thus ensuring that they are adequately included in education environs (Smith and Tyler, 2010). As a result, such students can gain success in education and garner success at levels comparable to those without disabilities. The NCLB has also contributed immensely to changes in classroom structure by ensuring that students from underprivileged communities also get access to equal education opportunities. Consequently, there has been an increase in the number of students from disadvantaged minority communities like the Spanish and African-Americans. This radical change instituted by the NCLB and IDEA has prompted instructors to revolutionise their classroom approaches. This is because they have to envision how best to educate pupils with unique needs. Just as Bremner (2006, p.2) reports, it is important for instructors to be highly qualified in their subjects of specialization and be appropriately equipped to meet the educational needs of the distinctively diverse students attending their classes; and differentiation is one way through which this can be guaranteed.
In the U.K., the Equality Act of 2010 plays a significant role in safeguarding diversity and inclusion in education. The Act serves as a universal source of laws against discrimination. In the education context, the Equality Act makes it illegal for delineated learning institutions to harass, victimise or discriminate against students or potential students. The Act explicitly outlines areas in which discrimination should be avoided including during pupil admission; in adoption of education approaches; and in providing students with access to available benefits, facilities or services. The Act further considers it illegal for schools to treat pupils unfavourably due to their disability, race, sex, and religion or beliefs, among other distinguishing factors (Department for Education, 2014, pp.7-8). These provisions are indicative of the U.K government’s commitment to protecting and encouraging diversity in classrooms. These ideals are reinforced further by the policy document titled “Leaving no one behind: Our promise”. Published on January 10, 2017 the policy is meant to oversee pursuance of millennium development goals (MDGs) that seek equality and inclusion of all persons in education and economic empowerment, irrespective of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds (DFID, 2017, n.p).
Key Debates about Differentiated Instruction
Despite its constructive goals and partial embedment in law, differentiated instruction is not devoid of controversy. Skeptics of differentiating and mixed-ability teaching feel that, the foundation of learning styles that characterise the concept are not substantiated by experiential educational research (Schmoker, 2010, n.p). There are also opponents of differentiated instruction who feel that it is impractical, since educators cannot adapt teaching methods and content to each and every need of students attending their classes. Others are cynical about differentiated instruction based on the argument that modification of teaching approaches to account for students’ dissimilarities in learning styles is unlikely to yield any form of improvement in education outcomes (Geake, 2008, p. 124). There are also authors who opine that literature does not provide sufficient support for application of learning style evaluations in schools and neither are these tools a proper reflection of how students learn nor the specific dissimilarities observed in classes.
The debate is perpetuated by notions such as the possibility of instructors being already overburdened by current instructional models, which makes planning for multiple approaches to meet different students being even more exhausting and disconcerting. Some uphold the belief that adoption of mastery-centered education structure would be better than the current age-grade one, which makes differentiation a necessity and increases learning complexity. Another concern is that, while differentiating instruction could wield potential in enabling learners to meet their potential; it is considerably difficult to implement in the student, teacher and administrator context (Pashler and Bjork, 2008, p. 107).
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Learning Styles in Differentiating Instruction
Literature shows that differentiation of instruction is possible through alteration of various teaching elements (Pham, 2012, p.17). These areas include reworking of the instructional content; promotion of critical thought (process); provision of an assortment of chances for learners to showcase learning outcomes in suitable environment; and assurance that most learners including those with learning impediments get a chance to attain high academic results (Tomlinson, 2009, p.29). Given these instruction adaptation areas, some of the resultant learning styles could include:
Tiered tasks are specially designed to teach students on critical skills that are availed at varying levels of intricacy, open-endedness and abstractness (Tomlinson, 2009, p.30). In this case, the objectives and content of the education curriculum are similar, but the process and/or academic outcomes differ based on the learner’s inclination.
Just as the name suggests, learning contracts start with an agreement between an instructor and their student. The educator outlines the skills that the individual scholar is supposed to learn and the needed constituents of the assignment (Swann and Drummond, 2012). On the other hand, the student delineates the methods he/she finds appropriate for successful completion of the assigned tasks. This learning style makes it possible for students to work at a pace that suits their capacity. Moreover, a learning contract can target certain learning requirements, while helping promote student autonomy in planning thus eliminating unnecessary practice of skills.
According to Tomlinson (2009, p.30), compacting refers to the process of altering teaching on the basis of previously assessed learner mastery of learning goals. This learning style consists of three steps including evaluating the student’s knowledge level and establishing what they still need to understand; creating plans for what the scholar needs to learn while avoiding study of already mastered information; and developing plans for time to be used in an advanced or accelerated learning process.
In many educational settings, pupils work as part of varying groups based on assigned tasks or content of their curriculum. Occasionally, students are put in groups on the basis of learning preparedness and on other times, they are categorised on the basis of their learning profiles or individual interests (Tomlinson, 2001). In flexible grouping, the reason for placement in a group is equally varied. In addition, this allotment to a group could be by the teacher or as a result of the respective student’s choice. Also pointing to the flexibility of this learning style is the fact that placement could be planned or random. Overall, flexible grouping makes it possible for pupils to work with learners from diverse backgrounds and with a broad range of characteristics and prevents them from being termed as either struggling or advanced hence an equalizing effect.
Instructors use interest groups in situations where the learning experience targets a certain student interest. The adoption of interest groups allows students to select study topics that motivate them and propels them to engage in the learning process.
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Key Characteristics of Mixed Ability Classrooms
There are several differences between differentiated and single-approach classes. Tomlinson and Hertberg (2003, p.120) suggests that one of the main distinguishing factors between the two is that in a single-approach class an instructor plans a session, observes students’ responses and alters some elements based on observations, whereas in a differentiated class, educators proactively plan varying teaching techniques so as to engage the diverse students in class. As can be discerned from this distinction, teachers in differentiated classes are unlikely to be caught unprepared in terms of addressing their students’ unique needs.
Another notable difference highlighted by Butterworth (2010) is that instructors in differentiated classrooms manage to make lessons about students thus making them accountable for their own knowledge acquisition and generally, the whole learning process. This perhaps explains why majority of differentiated learning styles require students to actively engage in the learning process in terms of decision-making and self-assessment, unlike in most single-approach classes where learning is mostly passive. This is in line with Tomlinson’s (2001) assertion that learning is deemed best when it takes a relevant, interesting and generally engaging stance.
In terms of key features of mixed-ability classes, there are three critical aspects of differentiation namely process, content and product (Tomlinson, 2009, p.31). This implies that by distinguishing these three aspects, teachers provide equally varying approaches to what students learn; the manner in which they learn and how they showcase lessons acquired. These aspects are a vital part of developing the many approaches to differentiated teaching and essentially delineate some of the distinctive features of mixed-ability classes, some of which are outlined hereunder.
- Teaching is concept-based and driven by principle: Learning for a diverse class should out emphasis on critical and innovative thinking. It is on the basis of the latter that students have the opportunity to identify and put to practice the fundamental concepts of the discipline being studied. As denoted by, differentiated instruction founded on fostering the preceding thought process improves understanding as opposed to memorization of information conveyed.
- Continuous evaluation of learner development and competence: Evaluation in differentiated instruction allows educators to alter their teaching on the basis of the most recent information. Most importantly, instructors do not undermine the importance of tasks unique to student needs. Rather, they evaluate pupils’ learning readiness consistently and provide help on a need basis.
- Differentiated instruction techniques are used flexibly and methodically: when teachers use approaches like flexible grouping, they allow learners to work in multiple patterns. This further allows students to actively explore information, share new ideas, or highlight important learning outcomes.
Issues in Differentiation and Mixed Ability Teaching
Judging from the literary analysis thus far, it is irrefutable that differentiation and mixed-ability teaching implicates numerous issues ranging from the need for teachers to be well-equipped to cater to the needs of their diverse students to the demand for differentiating resources. Specifically, teachers face acute shortage of strategies and training programs to prep them for differentiation and mixed-ability instruction. Ansari (2013, p. 111) is keen to point out that even though differentiation techniques have been lauded as highly important in making sure that students go through productive learning experiences, there are still no provisions that explicitly address professional training, planning and teachers’ capacity to effectively implement them. It is for this reason that the author recommends consistent training for teachers, in order to properly prepare them for challenges that characterise mixed-ability classes.
Another inescapable issue is that majority of classes of many students and teachers bear the responsibility of regulating students and delivering lessons efficiently, which is a considerably strenuous task. A single-teacher handling a highly diverse classroom would find it difficult to properly administer lessons. Within the context of teaching English in a mixed-ability class, one of the most significant issues arises from the fact that an instructor is expected to nurture a student at their own pace despite the proficiency disparities (Al-Subaiei, 2017, p.184). This means that there could be a significant disconnect between the proficient students and those struggling to learn the language, since a teacher may find it difficult addressing the unique needs of each grouping.
The vast size of diverse classes also brings up the significant issue of resource scarcity. For instance, time could be limited for teachers to prepare comprehensive plans capable of addressing all the students’ needs. In addition, extra materials are needed in teaching a mixed-ability class, which is rarely the case (Taylor and Tereshchenko, 2016, p.329). The limited nature of teaching resources necessary for differentiated instruction could make teachers resort to employment of average teaching techniques, so as to reach healthy balance between capitalizing on available resources and delivering quality education. As pointed out by Taylor and Tereshchenko (2016, p.329) these difficulties create a vicious cycle, where schools are rendered incapable of adopting mixed-ability teaching by a shortage of qualified instructors and resources, coupled with a fearful, risk-shy and old-fashioned educational climate.
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Advantages and Disadvantages of Mixed-Ability Grouping
There are several benefits linked to mixed-ability grouping in the course of differentiated instruction. For instance, these classes create interesting learning environs by combining students’ diverse learning attitudes, skills and outlooks on education. As a result, every student learns from the others in the grouping. This not only increases chances of broadening learners’ knowledge, but also teaches them to appreciate other people’s unique attributes and how they can combine them to build each other up.
Mixed-ability grouping is also advantageous in the sense that constituent interactions enable learners to critically engage with others, while being increasingly creative in everything they do. This is not just because they learn from other students’ unique capabilities, but they actively participate in exploring learning problems and formulating necessary solutions as well.
Challenges of a Mixed Ability Classroom
Problems associated with mixed-ability grouping appear to outweigh its advantages. The challenges are not exclusive to teachers, but also for students that find themselves in such classes. If these problems are not properly addressed, the gap between the strong and weak students may widen even further (Stanford and Reeves, 2009, p.7). This is especially the case if teachers are unable to address the needs of individual students, perhaps making the advanced ones lose interest, while leaving the weaker ones lost in the instructive process. The subsequent subsections briefly explore some of the possible problems that characterise mixed-ability classes, particularly those that adopt a universal instructional model.
Boredom and Distraction
Teachers bear the demanding responsibility of developing lesson plans on the basis of the designated curriculum. Although such lesson plans should ideally encompass engaging activities to keep learners’ attention, there is a possibility of some students being unable to keep up with the instructional process or cope with learning materials afforded. The converse is also possible, in that, some students could find the assigned tasks too easy to spend time on. If in both situations students cease concentrating in class, continued use of such tasks could create monotony and ultimately disrupt the class.
Failure to Maintain Discipline
The large size of a class could make it difficult for a single-teacher to control students. As a result, disciplinary issues could emerge and these are accentuated if class tasks are not adequately interactive.
Inability to Maintain Interest
It is virtually impossible for teachers to identify each unique need of their many students. This means that there is no guarantee that instructors will implement all activities suited to their pupils to keep them interested.
Solutions for Mixed-Ability Grouping Challenges
Research into possible solutions to the aforementioned challenges is not extensive. Nonetheless, there are notable authors that have explored the possibilities. For instance, Al-Subaiei (2017, p.185) proposes adoption of differentiation strategies and class management as the most efficient in mitigating the negative effects of mixed-learning features on successful learning. In this case differentiation strategies include previously highlighted learning styles such as flexible grouping, interest grouping, compacting, learning contracts, and tiered assignments. On the other hand, class management refers to adoption of practices like giving students sufficient time to take down notes, working in close proximity with struggling students, using interactive teaching techniques, personalizing student tasks, and allotting extra tasks to student that finish activities earlier, among other measures (Al-Subaiei, 2017, p.186).
Workplace and Students Rationale for Learning English
I teach in a state-funded university in Saudi Arabia. My students are Arab students in a university’s Preparatory Year programme, whose age range is between 18 and 21 years and whose level of English is around “A1” on the CEFR. These students have just come from High School where they had very basic exposure to the English language. However, few of them have travelled to or have done summer school programmes in an English-speaking country or have had some private tuition in English. As a result, my class is a mix-ability class whereby some of them have pretty good English and others have extremely low level of English. They are studying the language to complete the PYP so that they can then go onto their subjects of specialisation (medicine).
Aspects of Differentiation and Mixed-Ability Teaching in Practice
From detailed analysis, mixed-ability in my classroom is as a result of the students’ past experiences learning English. For instance, there are some who have attended summer schools in English speaking countries. There are also some who have travelled on holidays to English speaking countries, thus gaining partial skills in the language. Other learners from well-off families have private tutors, thus gaining access to much needed one-on-one support at homes. On the other end of the spectrum are students that have absolutely no exposure to English, having graduated from Arabic-speaking high schools and they have had none of the previously mentioned opportunities.
Saudi Arabia Education Policy and Implications for Differentiation
According to Alharbi and Madhesh (2018, p.946), there has been significant change in Saudi Arabia’s education system over the past few years. The author notes that while mostly children from affluent families got access to education in the past, this has changed with introduction of free education by the country’s Ministry of Education. Consequently, all students can attend school irrespective of financial status. In further recognition of the need to guarantee equal learning opportunities for all Saudi students, the government took up the responsibility of setting up special education schools for pupils with disabilities (Alharbi and Madhesh, 2018 p.947). Although measures such as free education and creation of special schools for the disabled have been noteworthy steps toward fostering inclusion and equality in education, there are still significant impediments to differentiation and mixed-ability learning, as demonstrated further in the subsequent subsections.
Socio-cultural Factors and Implicated Challenges
In terms of ethnicity, most Saudi residents are Arab, which is approximately 90% of the total population. The remaining 10% encompasses other ethnicities like Africans, Asians, and Caucasian. As a result of the Arab dominance, conservative traditions, alliances, and social, as well as, familial ties are accentuated among the Saudis (Al-Saraj, 2014, p.257). As pointed out by Al-Saraj (2014, p.260), this makes the Saudi Arabian culture resistant to change and adoption of new concepts and learning processes, despite the advancing need for Saudi citizens to learn English and integrate with the rest of the world. I have observed this rigidity in the course of my teaching; with the most predominant being nepotism. The latter vice plays a huge role in Saudi society, even in academia. As a result, weak students with social or familial influence can use it to gain advantages such as being placed in classes or groups they’re not suited to or even get bumped-up with their test scores to pass particular subjects. Also due to cultural factors, such as tribalism, all students are seen as equal or all capable, so classifying them as weak is seen as a taboo subject here, thus further inhibiting differentiation for potentially better learning outcomes.
Another socio-cultural factor in the Saudi education system is the use of Arabic, which is the mother tongue or L1 of majority of the students, as the medium of instruction. Use of L1 in language classes is largely criticized since it prompts learners to think in this language before translating their ideas into the L2, in this case, English. This results in numerous deficiencies in the EFL learning process (Al-Seghayer, 2014, p.17). I have observed these weakness first hand, in my practice. Having being taught in Arabic in high school, the students lacking in English skills were denied the opportunity to practice and communicate in English. This considerably undermines their communicative proficiency.
Religion is yet another issue intertwined with Saudi Arabian culture. Since the official religion is Islam majority of students are Muslim and they are required to adhere to Islamic guidelines. In addition, rules that govern the education system in the country revolve around Islam. One notable Islamic provision is that women must learn and work in separate spaces from men (Alharbi and Madhesh, 2018, p. 948). This absence of coeducational classes, shows potential segregation based on gender. The failure by the country’s education policy to embrace differentiation is also apparent from the aforementioned setting aside of special schools, which means that disabled students are denied access to mainstream education availed to their able-bodied counterparts.
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Instructional Factors and Implicated Challenges
As established in this study, some of the instructional variables considered most influential in mixed-ability teaching include the curriculum content, the teaching techniques, and the instructors themselves. Regarding the role played by a teacher in a Saudi setting, Alkubaidi (2014, p.86) notes that learners greatly depend on their instructors as the primary source of knowledge. This perception of teachers as authoritative figures responsible for guiding the entire learning process leads to students becoming passive observers, rather than proactive participants. This is a major problem, especially considering the fact that there is a large number of students looking up to a single teacher. In my case, I am responsible for more than twenty five students, many of whom have varying learning abilities. We also have no assistant teachers or educational psychologists to help weak or even more abled students hence a greater burden on the teacher. Moreover, due to funding issues, the university isn’t prepared to hire more English Teachers, so we just have to manage large groups with mixed-ability students. Mixed-ability ranges from A0 – B1 (CEFR). A0 as in their level is extremely low. So, it’s very challenging to teach such mixed-ability group of students. This problem is likely to worsen with decreasing oil prices and subsequent deprivation of educational funding. This has led to many foreign teachers leaving and more local Saudi teachers venturing into teaching English despite their lack of experience and awareness of mixed-ability groupings.
In terms of curriculum, particularly in English, the Ministry of Education provides a predesigned curriculum which takes the traditions, customs, beliefs, and values of the Saudi Arabian culture into consideration. As a result, students must undergo instruction on the basis of a prescribed plan, while occasionally participating in predetermined activities that they cannot select on their own (Alrashidi and Phan, 2015, p.36). Consequently, there is occasionally a mismatch between the curriculum and the student learning needs. In my experience, this inflexibility of the curriculum demotivates student and they end up studying not to learn and enjoy English, but to pass examinations and move on to the next academic level. This disinterest is evident from students’ avoidance of the recently introduced yet noncompulsory enrichment classes.
Majority of EFL learners in Saudi Arabia are taught through use of traditional techniques that entail grammar translation. This involves learning grammatical rules and later applying them via translation of sentences from L2 to L1. The other conventional technique common in Saudi is audio-lingual. These choices put emphasis on memorizing grammatical rules while overlooking verbal fluency, which is an impediment to effective teaching of English as a spoken language (Al-Seghayer, 2014, p.18). As a result of these curricular limitations, it is challenging trying to get students ready for the 3 exams (2 monthly and 1 final) with varying levels of English. The lack of change to cater for mixed-ability learning also means that there is no one-on-one support available to support our weak or more abled-learners. There are also no academic counsellors or educational psychologists available to diagnose learning difficulties / barriers of our weak learners. These issues are aggravated by the fact that, approaches used by our management team in dealing with our mixed-ability students are deterred by the fact that they don’t have resources or the knowledge to deal with the issue of mixed-ability teaching and learning.
- Differentiating instruction to encourage all students to make full use of their potential
- Conducting a placement test at the beginning of the academic year / semester then group students according to their scores (level) i.e. streamline them according to their English levels by text, task, outcome, support, interest, and teaching methods.
- Introduction of career services or career advisors in campus. This would enable students to learn about the job market and the expected learning outcomes. This would not only provide career guidance, but also prompt them to aspire to academic performance that would match prospective job positions.
This analysis shows that mixed-ability classes found in virtually all learning environs present teachers with significant difficulty in teaching with utmost efficacy. Teachers also tend to feel detached from students or lacking in control of the instructional process when they are unable to identify unique student needs and subsequently post uninspiring results. These are issues that I have experienced first-hand and for this reason, I join other educators in advocating for employment of differentiation techniques and class management undertakings that would counter identified challenges. This is especially important considering the dynamic nature of linguistic education, the need to ensure equal inclusion of all students in the learning process, and emergent learning demands. At the same time, the global environment has become increasingly interconnected and competitive, which means that students can only thrive if they are capable of practically applying their academic qualifications to assigned work responsibilities. All the same, lessons drawn from the study indicate that success of differentiation and mixed-ability teaching is hinged on proactive involvement of students, teachers, and school administrators alike. This is because it is only through such a unified approach that the different stakeholders can pool the resources and effort necessary to guarantee efficacy of the concept.
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