Author : Mr. Edilberto C. Cruz
Mr. Joy Arulappan, ELC Lecturer, gave a well-received workshop on ‘Teaching Heterogeneous Classes’ on January 22, 2019 at Room 204 of the English Language Centre building. The event was attended by teachers handling Foundation and Post-foundation English classes.
Mr. Arulappan began by paraphrasing a well-known statement by Abraham Lincoln (“You can teach some students some of the time, and all students some of the time; but you cannot teach all students all of the time.”) to underscore the importance of innovative methods in teaching classes of mixed abilities and interests. From there, he shared interesting ways of putting more variety in class instruction (“Variety is the spice of teaching,” as he paraphrased another famous saying).
Various concepts were also introduced, such as Pareto’s 80-20 principle, a concept from economics that can be applied as well in the language classroom. Other helpful ideas were also shared including personalization, creative tension, wait time, echoing student responses, and the use of digital technology and the student’s native tongue. At the conclusion of the workshop, the participants filled in a Selfie Classroom Questionnaire as part of an exercise on reflective thinking.
The attendees warmly expressed their appreciation to the speaker as they came away from the workshop with a bundle of helpful strategies for effectively teaching English in the heterogeneous classroom.