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Mixed Abilities

Category: Freelance Teaching

Today I taught a mixed-ability class in a company, but not the same one I wrote about before: this is as common as sunshine in the desert! Anyway, their levels range from pre-intermediate to upper-intermediate, and attendance is pretty irregular, in fact sometimes just one comes, which was the case today. At a solid upper-intermediate level, today’s student’s probably the strongest.

 

Baxter Business Services
Expanding language school is looking for full-time and part-time teachers.

 
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William Christison
William Christison

Teaches English classes in companies and in his own private home.

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Luckily when I teach these classes I bring about five different class plans, or more accurately, material for five different classes, often from Instant Ideas. If something goes well in a class, I’ll keep a photocopy of it in my folder, and in an emergency or an unexpected situation, out it comes, just like from Mary Poppins’ bag.

I mainly use the book when several people come: it’s an intermediate business English book so it’s an average of their levels. But if you just get one, it’s nice to give them somewhat of a tailor-made class. This invariably includes a nice chat with ongoing friendly feedback (correction), which is a real luxury for them, not easy to come by, so they’re appreciative. And as they say, the bottom line is always happy students.

Response

Thanks for your insights about freelance teaching! One question, with these kinds of mixed-level classes, don’t you find that it is very hard to keep a sort of continuity within the class? The students have different levels to start with, and then half of them never come or each one comes very irregularly. How do you deal with this when looking at your class as a whole (rather than looking at each day individually)?

My response

You’re absolutely right: continuity is hard to come by, though in the end there are two that actually come fairly regularly to this particur class, which I still have by the way, so logically the class is aimed at them. By the way, they have different levels, one being intermediate while the other actually is probably post First Certificate, that is, advanced.

But luckily business books today tend to have a broad scope, which makes them ideal for mixed abitility classes. In this case I’m using In Company intermediate, which I’m happy with. The students are presented with a broad range of language and each student “notices” what he or she is ready to notice. My more advanced student is reinforcing her knowledge and picking up business collocations, while the other is focussing on more general lexis.

Again, this sort of broad focus, that is, exposing students to lexically rich texts, means that everyone gets something out of the class, though the poor attenders will have much less contact with the language and so progress less. Actually for them it’s not about progressing but not losing what they already have.

I hope I’ve answered your question.




Language School Requires Teachers


IH MaddridUpdate: July 20, 2017:

We are now recruiting for two different types of contract:

i) In-company teachers for up to 12 hours a week. Freelance or on contract. We are looking for enthusiastic, experienced In-Company teachers. We can give you work each morning and lunchtime. Competitive pay rates, access to first class training, development and resources. CELTA or equivalent essential. Mid-September or October start date.

ii) Adults and YL teachers on around 20 hours a week, lunchtime to evening schedules. If you are an enthusiatic and dedicated teacher who loves working with young learners and adult students, we are looking to fill a limited number of positions. Competitive pay rates, excellent resources, support and teacher development. CELTA or equivalent and relevant experience essential.

For either position, please send your CV and teaching qualification certificate to selection@ihmadrid.com. For more information see our website https://www.ihmadrid.com/en

More info on International House Madrid on MadridTeacher, and more info about IHMadrid's TEFL Course.





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The Green Monkey Schools and BBS are seeking English teachers for 2017-2018 teaching season Corporate classes are in-company, usually in Madrid but also in the suburbs. Classes to children, adults and teenagers are in our schools located in and around Madrid as well as Barcelona.

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