Monday, 29 June 2015

Discussions--Series 20---ELT Professionals Around the World

Please read Post 68 and then come back here. Thank you.

Discussions—Series Twenty
Topic 57
Henda Fatnassi English teacher/ translator
Mixed Ability classes!!!!
Article: Coping with the Problems of Mixed Ability Classes
Deniz Şalli-Çopur, Middle East Technical University (Ankara, Turkey)

"Mixed ability classes are a fact of not only language classes but of all courses. Since no two students can be the same in terms of language background, learning speed, learning ability and motivation, it is a utopian view to think that our classes could be homogeneous in terms of these aspects; no matter where we live in the world or at which school we teach. Therefore, the language teachers should be aware of the problems of mixed ability classes and their solutions to identify the source of troubles in their classes and to cure them."
My dear colleagues it will be very kind of you if you share your ideas about this topic and suggest ways to deal with it.

I believe that every class is a reality.Teaching is the art of finding that fine thread that links different components of that reality.
Like(1)

My experience with mixed ability classes have proved that students benefit most when they are given the chance to work in groups, hence exchange ideas, do brainstorming, solve problems together. Mixed ability classes can be regarded as opportunities instead of problematic situations, since group work or pair work among ss can enable raising awareness. Students eventually discover that there may be different approaches to solving problems and may try making use of these other perspectives through their learning experiences..
Like(4)

My dear Henda. Thank you very much for the interesting discussion. Although I have not had big classes for a long time, I remember how I experienced difficulty with variety of students in a class. I do agree, mixed ability is the fact! But it can even help in teaching a lot if a teacher stimulates students to cooperate in the first part of a lesson and compete in the second one. It can be achieved by team work in the beginning and discussions in produce sections of lessons. This approach usually evokes motivation in all students as well as helps in teaching.
Like(1)

There is always a variety of abilities in the classroom. One student will always be top of the class, another will always be struggling. However, I feel that for the ESL classroom the more streamlined the class, the better. Right now, for example, I have girls who cannot communicate AT ALL in the same class as girls who are highly literate. Along with girls of every varying ability in between.

It is endlessly frustrating. Every class period I have to make a conscious decision to ignore the needs of most of the class in order to spend at least a little time meeting the needs of today's select few.

In a more perfect world, there'd be SOME streaming, so that the mixed abilities were at least in sight of each other.
Like(2)

Thank you my dear colleagues for your valuable comments, I'll add that A second area of activity that can be productive in mixed ability classes is project work. Again, this can work successfully using mixed groups where the stronger help the weaker, but another approach is to form groups that are at approximately the same level and assign different tasks that are appropriate to the level of each group. By adjusting the complexity of the task, you can ensure that each group has a task that it can carry out successfully, thereby providing the correct level of challenge for the higher level students and not demotivating the weaker ones. I tried it with my students and it worked pretty well. However this activity shouldn't be applied frequently.
Like(3)

One reason I flip my classes is because of the mixed ability of students in any class. Placing content on 1know.net, students are able to view the content on video as often as they wish, take notes, communicate with one another, and take pop quizzes as well. 1know.net let's you monitor the students' activity and time spent viewing videos. The notes are required by me to insure students have watched the videos. I also require students to bring questions to class each session, and collect and respond to them at the beginning of class. I then group students in class to discuss other questions and complete what in a traditional class would have been homework. I have had positive results from this approach. However, I must add that all your students need to have access to the internet. By the way, 1know.net is free for teachers and students.
Like(1)

..., you are probably correct when with the idea of the misplacement causing the gap. However, some schools have no choice due to the size of the school, number of faculty, etc. If multiple classes are available then testing before placement might help along with other methods to identify levels.
Like(1)

Hello Henda, as you said, no two students are alike. Furthermore each comes with their own intrinsic or extrinsic motivation, this is one of the first things teachers need to recognize among students. On the other hand, something that always works well in the classroom, is Differentiated Instruction, where taking into account the students` abilities, it is the task they do.
Like(2)

... - I'd agree, but I work in government schools and there is no placement other than by student (or parent) request. Alas.
Like(1)

Mixed ability classes will remain a reality in smaller language schools and in formal education where students have to be together because they are of the same age or study in the same group in core subjects. Most good TESOL textbooks and teacher training courses have a section for teaching mixed levels. As some colleagues above mentioned, projects and tasks can be designed so that each student can produce their contribution to the maximum of their existing ability and also stretch a notch further, learning some of the new material of the lesson and from their stronger peers. It takes time before the gap narrows and we teachers just need to accept it and be patient. Such activities need to be carefully planned so that each student can work at the top of their level, otherwise the situation where some are bored and others are lost happen.
Like(2)

I couldn't agrre more Lana, activity planning and the way the teacher conducts the session are very important to motivate the low achievers to contribute and to make the high achievers enjoy playing the role of the helpers.

Me
Grouping students with different levels or same level has been suggested as a solution. Most
members reported success in solving the mixed ability problem. Several things needed to be considered here.

Let’s take a reading comprehension activity:

How is success determined? How cooperative was the learning activity? What were the parameters to decide this? Did the teacher have only a mental picture or a printed or written down questionnaire?

How was the grouping done: random selection or students chose the grouping? If random, was willingness sought?

Who helped with the reading or was the reading done aloud or was it silent? Was it done individually or did one read and the others followed with the reading material? Who helped with the vocabulary and sentence structure, thought coherence? How did whoever helped with these guide the activity?

Was there domination? How did this affect the group activity, especially the timid ones? What was the level of performance of those whose confidence was low/ who were bored or indifferent? How were they roped in? Was there success at every stage of the activity: initiating, participating, concluding? Did each low level student take active part at each stage? (Being unable to communicate in English could be a problem to some or several in the group.) How was this determined: by teacher’s personal observation and noting this down (can s/he really do this for all groups?), by report from group leader (does this indicate the progress or non-progress of each member), by personal information from low level students (this amounts to confession, will they do it)?

What was the post-activity of the teacher? How did this assist the low level students? If there was improvement, how was this noted? If there was no improvement, how was this tackled, that is, were any improvements/changes made to how the group activity was to be conducted?

Henda suggested that students of the same level be grouped.
Apart from the ones mentioned above, this has a disadvantage: who will initiate the task, who will conclude, who will oversee the smooth conduct of activity? Do they allocate duties to themselves, or does the teacher do this?
Like(3)

Me
continuation
In a formal system of education, probably in several parts of the world, the number of students in a class can be 30 and beyond due to various constraints. Students of such classes are bound to be mixed bunches in terms of their learning abilities.

I classify students into three groups: average, slow and quick. In Traditional teaching, we tend to ignore the latter two and provide only for the average. Several thinkers and writers have indicated the necessity to take into the common fold the slow group, and they are right.

If we are careful, we can form groups with the three types, probably asking the quick ones to lead and control the group such that the slow ones also benefit. But there can be several problems. The quick ones can boss over, the slow ones may not like being controlled or guided, the bored ones and the indifferent ones may exhibit no change in their attitude and this can create further problems, the quick ones may not be able to clear the doubts or may interpret information wrongly and when pointed out may not like it, and so on.

Again, what I suggest is with reference to reading comprehension.

A way out:
To let normal class remain normal, that is, no grouping need be done, but while preparing the exercises, make the task easier for the slow ones by providing a tip after each question for where to look for the answer, prepare extra questions for the quick ones that will challenge them and make them think about concepts, attitudes, processes, philosophies and the like so they can be kept busy, so they can be prevented from indulging in possible acts of mischief.

to be continued with a sample.
Like(2)

Thank you KR for your valuable comment . My suggestion may answer some of your previously stated questions."Was there domination? How did this affect the group activity, especially the timid ones? What was the level of performance of those whose confidence was low/ who were bored or indifferent? How were they roped in? Was there success at every stage of the activity: initiating, participating, concluding? Did each low level student take active part at each stage?" assigning tasks with different difficulty levels gives the teacher the possibility to make sure that all his/her students participated within their limits in the course of the session. I noticed that each time the students are asked to perform an activity in groups the high achievers are the ones who do the job and the low achievers are there sitting passively or they may resort to talking about another thing out of boredom. Let's take the example of listening, while planning the lesson the teacher can prepare three sets of questions for three different groups ( high, average, low) the first group may just tick the right alternative to identify the general iea of the passage, and identify speakers. For the second group they'll have to identify speakers' relations and statements' functions. As for the high achievers they'll be assigned the most complex questions to illustrate correct false statements and picking out equivalent lexis. of course in the same session there'll be questions assigned to the class as a whole dealing with pronunciation. This may give the chance to the weak students to participate. This is another approach that should not be applied frequently cause the teacher should provide them ( the students) to learn from each other.
Unlike(1)

Thank you KR always learning from you.
Unlike(1)

Me
Henda
you may also prepare questions that require fill in the blanks, that require one sentence statements or a short paragraph. In multiple questions, the thinking is done by the test item writer and the learner benefits from it but doesn't do it themselves. Besides, writing confirms learning of lexis and structure and paragraphing (this of course over a period of time) and learning of putting pen to paper.
Like(1)

Me
In addition, ticking a choice in response to multiple choice test items doesn't REALLY indicate whether or not the candidate applied their knowledge. Give me any test on any subject in any language with multiple choices and I'm likely to land 20% of the marks. Even if I got one answer right, the purpose of the test would be defeated.

Instead of taking measures to minimise subjectivity in marking papers, the then experts invented multiple choice items which was in fact nothing more than a reactionary measure to subjective marking. They make marking easy and quick but they don't indicate for certain the learner's knowledge level and its application
Like(2)

I experienced a mixed ability class years ago.The problem I tackled was that I had good writers in the class and at the same time I had a big majority of students who were reluctant to write and others who simply don't write no matter what happens.So I opted for a combination of both process writing and collaborative writing.I put the few good writers in each of the 4 groups I established and asked the membersgroups to collaborate in order to produce one piece of writing which would allow them to cmpete with the other groups .The motivation was that the highest scores would be given to the most cooperative group.It was a success because those who never dared to write were empowered within their groups to do so.The complementary work at stake was simply remarkable.
Unlike(4)

Nice strategy Abdeslam, I think I'll try it in my classes. Thank you for your valuable comments.
Like(1)

The rationale behind process writing is to tackle each writing difficulty at a time and lower ss anxiety when handling this task.Writing is the synthesis of all that we know about language :vocabulary,grammar,punctuation,spelling etc.Process writing consists of the following stages:
* down ideas

* first draft (concentration on content)

* the second draft (concentration on form)

* (self-editing,peer-editing,SS-Teacher editing and in my case group-group editing)

* the final draft.

I know most teachers are familiar with these stages but some are not .So it is worth clarifying things from the outset.

BTW.I did not mention anything about correction.The rationale behind process writing is to avoid overwhelming SS with overcorrection which is counterproductive.
Unlike(2)

Correction:
* down ideas

-Outlining

I do not know why some words are omitted from my comment.It is certainly a technical problem.

Correction: jot down ideas

Mixed ability classes is a sore point for any teacher especially who teaches adults. It is an overload when making a lesson plan as you should work on different abilities considering this fact in your instructions, activities, games and exercises. What's more, you should keep all the students with their different abilities and backgrounds motivated and following , which is very challenging. That's normal as when you address the ss with lower abilities, the ss with higher abilities will get bored and disconnected and vice versa. That said, my suggestion is just to put every point you teach into the same number of layers as your ability groups and handle them tactfully among your groups keeping the ball bouncing all the time. For example, if you teach a vocabulary lesson , and you are sure that a group of your students already know them while the others do not, then you need to put the vocabulary lesson into layers as follows: 1- basic layer for the lowest without any supplementary -2 deeper layer for the higher dealing with the same vocabulary but with more derivatives, for example , or more compound sentences. Also, the classroom management is valuable in that regard; you can make the higher ss lead ss and assign them to help you out in checking the understanding of the other groups. This creates more confidence in them and pushes the whole lesson forward.
Unlike(1)

I've taught mixed ability ESL classes for 23 yrs - aged 16 to 70, from up to 17 countries in one class, from pre-literate with little or no education to professionals. How did I survive? I sometimes wonder. A great sense of humour, fun, common themes or topics, lots of different activities happening at the same time for different levels, a volunteer tutor saved my life many times. The most important is classroom management eg have some doing a reading activity while others are doing listening. Start and finish all class sessions with a whole group activity........Extra activities on standby for fast students, Lesson plans go out the window. I could write a book. I've taught students from a total of 71 countries over the years & though it's hard work & challenging, think I'd be bored without it all.
Unlike(4)

There is an approach to catering for learner diversity called Differentiated Instruction. Not only abilities but also learning preferences and interests are addressed. This approach has been adopted widely in the USA and other western countries in mainstream school education. I recommend that ESL teachers have a look at the strategies suggested and experiment selectively according to their needs. I have written a summary to help teachers get started athttp://jackdawltc.org/2012/08/16/differentiated-instruction-di-a-strong-rationale-but-does-it-really-work/
Like(2)

Loved your opening statement, Henda, so very true. I have used a similar technique to Abdeslam with much success - starting from 'brainstorming or spidergrams' - good as an individual exercise but also works well in small groups. Having worked in International schools across four continents, I must agree with Norma - a good sense of humour and an ability to have fun in the classroom makes a huge difference. Always have some physical activity to get the reluctant ones moving and extra work for those who finish quickly. I have often used to 'first to finish' as monitors, sending them around the class to work with other students. I like to introduce music into the lessons - using cloze procedure with popular English songs - Beatles, etc. After completing the exercise, they get to sing as well.
Like(1)

Agree, indeed, Katerina. But many of these techniques are not taught directly to teachers but gained over time from colleagues and INSET. Experience is a wonderful teacher, but it takes time.
Like(3)

I liked the article that Peter posted. However, I must agree with John and Katerina that the techniques are used in one form or another in any class, but are not always taught to teachers. I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful professor in my MA degree that demonstrated many DI techniques, however, so there are places and people who recognize the value of the techniques. We often discuss DI in terms of getting students involved in the learning activities rather than using the term DI when we are referring to group discussions, paired work, projects, and even peer tutoring.
Like(2)

Mixed ability classes could have students who have experienced trauma & torture, never held a pen or sat on a chair in a classroom with university educated professionals. Learning styles vary due to diverse cultures, ages, educational background etc but visual & kinaesthetic activities always win. Running dictation, card scrabble, role-plays, singing, dancing, chanting, competitions and a huge trunk of tricks invented and collected over time to keep students on their toes creates a positive, energetic environment. Equality, respect, learning strategies, cooperation, socialisation, culture shock strategies and confidence building strategies for homogeneous group dynamics form the foundation of learning. Oh, and then there is assessment - up to eight totally different things happening in a room concurrently......
Like(3)

Yes, hard work, challenging, mountains of preparation, tearing your hair out, being an entertainer, magician, being able to laugh at yourself & plead insanity are all part of teaching mixed ability classes. It's also heaps of fun & exhausting.
Like(3)

A great tool for mixed ability classes is www.BooksThatGrow.com. This site offers books that adapt to students reading abilities. Two students reading the same text may see different wording, sequencing of ideas, or illustrations, based on their individual reading ability. It makes it very easy for teachers is mixed ability classes. The product is intended specifically for intermediate and advanced English language learners.
Unlike(3)

My key has always been extra activities for the fastest students and/or engaging them in various tasks. It also helps to size down the amount of the task for the learners with a slower paste. Some people underestimate that, but for me it has always been enough to monitor their progress if they have done 5, rather than the 7 tasks.
Like(3)

I always plan and pace the class so that in the beginning the slower learners get more of my time and attention. Once they are set i move around interacting with those who have made some headway. I interact with the learners who finish about how to improve their work.
Like(2)

When I was at a small school, "mixed" classes were my reality. I've adapted a "Adjust the task" kind of approach. I teach Spanish and English, and I learned about the ACTFL proficiency levels (http://www.actfl.org/publications/guidelines-and-manuals/actfl-proficiency-guidelines-2012). Other countries have different versions of this. Once I learned about what each student can do in the target language, I had a better understand of what activity would be best for them. Then I implemented learning stations to be able to differentiate the lessons. I label the stations by proficiency levels and let them go to the ones that match their levels.http://www.creativelanguageclass.com/category/activities/learning-stations/ Assessments are also open-ended and at their level. My site is dedicated to language learning and culture. There are a lot of examples to see!
Unlike(3)

Being able to teach multilevel classes is an asset! The first is at the Waterloo Catholic District Board, where I taught adults English and Spanish and gave students initial feedback using the CLB and students successfully completed the listening and speaking examination at the end. The second moment was teaching Student Success at Conestoga College for postsecondary students where I learned to never plan lessons with a standard and they had successfully completed the English examination to move on to the university. The third moment was at the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University where I taught in an inclusive setting and summer school for the LEAP program for children aged 3-15. The Dean, gave me a helping hand and from that moment on, Laurier prepared me the knowledge needed to become a classroom teacher.

Kara Parker, I visited the links and found them very interesting, thank you for sharing.

Work in groups or pairs, team work, project work, groups at the same level
Nayar referred to intrinsic or extrinsic motivation

Lana cautions: It takes time before the gap narrows and we teachers just need to accept it and be patient. Such activities need to be carefully planned so that each student can work at the top of their level, otherwise the situation where some are bored and others are lost happen.

Grouping students with different levels or same level has been suggested as a solution. Most
members reported success in solving the mixed ability problem. Several things needed to be considered here.

Let’s take a reading comprehension activity:

How is success determined? How cooperative was the learning activity? What were the parameters to decide these? Did the teacher have only a mental picture or a printed or written down questionnaire?

How was the grouping done: random selection or students chose the grouping? If random, was willingness sought?

Who helped with the reading or was the reading done aloud or was it silent? Was it done individually or did one read and the others followed with the reading material? Who helped with the vocabulary and sentence structure, thought coherence? How did whoever helped with these guide the activity?

Was there domination? How did this affect the group activity, especially the timid ones? What was the level of performance of those whose confidence was low/ who were bored or  indifferent? How were they roped in? Was there success at every stage of the activity: initiating, participating, concluding? Did each low level student take active part at each stage? (Being unable to communicate in English could be a problem to some or several in the group.) How was this determined: by teacher’s personal observation and noting this down (can s/he really do this for all groups?), by report from group leader (does this indicate the progress or non-progress of each member), by personal information from low level students (this amounts to confession, will they do it)?

What was the post-activity of the teacher? How did this assist the low level students?  If there was improvement, how was this noted? If there was no improvement, how was this tackled, that is, were any improvements/changes made to how the group activity was to be conducted?

Henda suggested that students of the same level be grouped.
Apart from the ones mentioned above, this has a disadvantage: who will initiate the task, who will conclude, who will oversee the smooth conduct of activity? Do they allocate duties to themselves, or does the teacher do this?

I was only taking stock of the things that need to be done to make a methodology a success. Nothing more.


Hemda Fatnaso
Thank you, KR always learning from you.

A great tool for mixed ability classes is www.BooksThatGrow.com. This site offers books that adapt to students reading abilities. Two students reading the same text may see different wording, sequencing of ideas, or illustrations, based on their individual reading ability. It makes it very easy for teachers is mixed ability classes. The product is intended specifically for intermediate and advanced English language learners.

When I was at a small school, "mixed" classes were my reality. I've adapted a "Adjust the task" kind of approach. I teach Spanish and English, and I learned about the ACTFL proficiency levels (http://www.actfl.org/publications/guidelines-and-manuals/actfl-proficiency-guidelines-2012). Other countries have different versions of this. Once I learned about what each student can do in the target language, I had a better understand of what activity would be best for them. Then I implemented learning stations to be able to differentiate the lessons. I label the stations by proficiency levels and let them go to the ones that match their levels.http://www.creativelanguageclass.com/category/activities/learning-stations/ Assessments are also open-ended and at their level. My site is dedicated to language learning and culture. There are a lot of examples to see!

Me
Hi Kara
Thank you for the websites. Both provide great information. A lot of love and labour has gone into these.

The first one draws very fine distinctions. I'm not sure about how such 'fineness' will help the teacher, I'd like to know. I wonder if we could get ready as many exercises for every learning topic. The second one provides very interesting information about how she goes about getting herself ready but they don't seem to show how she caters to differing ability students--how learning activities/exercise clearly mark these distinctions (I haven't looked through all her what she calls stations.) I'm very curious.
Like(2)

KR I'm infinitely grateful for your valuable contribution, All my respects sir.

Me
My pleasure, Henda. 
Like(1)

Me
Here is the sample I’d mentioned in my last comment: engaging all students in the same breath with different sets of learning experiences:

Learning Objectives:
i. read the passage in chunks to understand the story
ii. read the passage to enjoy the story
iii. comprehend the story as a whole and in parts (skimming) and express this
    understanding in writing and through discussion
iv. understand what a hypothesis is analyse the story, look for evidence to decide how true
     the hypothesis is

The reading passage:
Return of the Native
[an excerpt from the middle pages of The Fraternity of the Stone, a novel by David Morrell, New English Library (U.K. Edition 1987)]

It was autumn again,/ October,/ his sixth year in the monastery./  The ruddy glow of sunset /tinted the brilliant maples on the hill./ He heard the rattle/ of the serving hatch, then the familiar scrape and thump of a cup and bowl/ being set on the shelf/ beside his door. /

He glanced toward the tiny hole/ at the base of the workman wall/ where Stuart Little suddenly appeared. /The mouse sat on his haunches,/ raising its forearms /to brush his whiskers. /

All you need /is a knife, fork and bib,/ Drew silently joked,/ amused at/ how the rattle of the serving hatch/ had become Stuart Little’s dinner bell./

The mouse scurried over/ as Drew brought the meal/ to the workbench./ Bread and water;/ another fast-day./ His stomach rumbling,/ he noticed Stuart/ trying to climb up his robe, /and with a sigh of feigned disgust,/ he tore a piece of bread,/ tossing it down to the mouse. /He sat at the bench and bowed his head, /pressing his hands together praying. /

You know, Stuart, /he thought as he finished, /you’re getting greedy./ I ought to make you wait to eat/ till grace is finished./ A little religion/ wouldn’t hurt you./ How would you feel about that, huh?/

He glanced toward the mouse on the floor./

And frowned./ The mouse lay on its side,/ unmoving./ Drew stared in surprise,/ not moving either./ His chest tensed./ Shocked,/ he held his breath,/ then blinked and inhaling slowly,/ bent down to touch Stuart’s side./

It remained inert./

Drew gently nudged it, feeling the soft sleek fur, but got no response. His throat seemed line with sand. As he swallowed painfully, he picked Stuart up. The mouse lay still in his palm. It weighed almost nothing. But the weight was dead.

Drew’s stomach felt cold. In dismay, he shook his head, baffled. A minute ago, the mouse had practically been dancing for its supper.

Was it old age, he wondered. A heart attack? Or a stroke? He didn’t know much about mice, but he vaguely recalled having read somewhere that they didn’t live long. A year or two.

But that was in the wild, exposed to predators, disease, and cold. What about here, in the cell? He strained to think, telling himself that even with warmth and good care, Stuart Little had been bound to die. There wasn’t any way to know how old it had been when it showed up last autumn, but in human terms by now it might have been ninety.
...
He wiped his sweaty lip. His years of disciplined regimen told him to wait a short while longer until he normally left for vespers. Yes. The decision calmed him. Avoiding extremes, it appealed to his common sense.

The vespers bell stayed silent, but in rhythm with his daily cycle, he knew that it should have struck by now. He told himself that the mouse’s death had disturbed his judgement. Time was passing with exaggerated slowness, that was all.

He counted to one hundred. Waited. Started to count again. And stopped.

With a painful sign, he repressed his inhibitions, broke six years of habit, and opened the door.

Slow reader
Learning experience 1 (for the slow reader)
Spend 50 minutes so every student gets a chance to practise reading orally.

Some of you may have reading problems. You may be in the habit going back to where you started before continuing to read; you may be using your finger to continue to read; you may be mouthing the words or moving your lips.

Such reading will be slow and make you read every word separately and will not help you understand what you’re reading. Learn to read in chunks with your eyes taking short and long jumps. That is, read words in groups which we call sense groups.

The chunks or the sense groups are marked in the paragraph. Stop just for a moment before you continue:

Practise reading the passage this way orally and then silently at home so that you get the reading right, so that you begin to follow the ideas expressed.

Learning experience 2 (for the slow learner)
Now mark the remaining passage with slashes between groups of words, read it loud and then silently.

Learning experience 3 (for the slow reader)
A piece of writing is like a tree. The central idea is like the trunk of the tree. From the trunk of the tree come the branches; from the central idea (the most important idea) come other ideas (more important idea). From each branch come the leaves; from the more important ideas come the less important ideas.

Now read the story, find the central idea, write it down in a phrase or a single sentence. Do this at home and bring it to class for discussion.

All students  read out their answer and give reason for their choice. The teacher agrees with whoever gives the right answer and the reason for the choice. If necessary s/he will the give the right answer and explain why it is so.

Learning experience 4
Here you’ll learn to summarise the story. A summary contains only the more important ideas. Do not include the less important ideas.
Help:

You have already understood the most important idea. Now you’ll read
the passage to select the more important ideas. There are three of them.
The first one is available in lines 35—36, the second in lines 72—90,
and the third in lines 124—153. Read these lines carefully and form in
your sentences these three more important ideas.
  

Learning experience 5
Stuart Little, the mouse, dies immediately after eating the bread piece. Drew first forms one idea about the death of the mouse. Then he changes his mind and forms another idea. Each of these two ideas is called a hypothesis. To find out whether they are true or not, Drew has to look for the cause(s) for each of his ideas. This attempt is called analysis. He looks at the causes in detail and finally decides how the mouse died.  This decision is called conclusion.

Write your answer like this:
Event: Stuart Little eats the bread piece and dies.

hypothesis 1                                                    hypothesis 2
Stuart Little died from natural causes.            Stuart Little died from poison.

analysis                                                           analysis
_________________________________      _____________________________________  
_________________________________      _____________________________________
_________________________________      _____________________________________
_________________________________      _____________________________________
_________________________________      _____________________________________

conclusion                                                       conclusion
_________________________________      _____________________________________

Do this at home and bring it to class for discussion. All students read their answers. If no one has the right answer, the teacher will use questions to get the answer from students.

Help:
Analysis for hypothesis 1 is available in lines 40—45  and for 2 in
lines 76—87  and 117—122.

Learning experience 6
Listen to and learn from the answers the quick learners provide for questions given to them.

Average reader
Learning experience 1 (for the average reader)
Spend 50 minutes so every student gets a chance to practise reading orally.

Some of you may have reading problems. You may be in the habit going back to where you started before continuing to read; you may be using your finger to continue to read; you may be mouthing the words or moving your lips.

Such reading will be slow and make you read every word separately and will not help you understand what you’re reading. Learn to read in chunks with your eyes taking short and long jumps. That is, read words in groups which we call sense groups.
The chunks or the sense groups are marked in the paragraph. Stop just for a moment before you continue:

Practise reading the passage this way orally and then silently at home so that you get the reading right, so that you begin to follow the ideas expressed.

Learning experience 2 (for the average learner)
Now mark the remaining passage with slashes between groups of words, read it loud and then silently.

Learning experience 3 (for the slow reader)
A piece of writing is like a tree. The central idea is like the trunk of the tree. From the trunk of the tree come the branches; from the central idea (the most important idea) come other ideas (more important idea). From each branch come the leaves; from the more important ideas come the less important ideas.

Now read the story, find the central idea, write it down in a phrase or a single sentence. Do this at home and bring it to class for discussion.

All students  read out their ideas and give reason for their choice. The teacher agrees with whoever gives the right answer and the reason for the choice.

Learning experience 4
Here you’ll learn to summarise the story. A summary contains only the more important ideas. Do not include the less important ideas.

Learning experience 5
Stuart Little, the mouse, dies immediately after eating the bread piece. Drew forms two ideas about the death. Each is called a hypothesis. To find out whether they are true or not, Drew analyses each idea, looks at the causes and finally decides how the mouse died.  This decision is called conclusion.

Write your answer like this:
Event: Stuart Little eats the bread piece and dies.

hypothesis 1                                                    hypothesis 2
________________________________        ____________________________________

analysis                                                           analysis
_________________________________      _____________________________________  
_________________________________      _____________________________________
_________________________________      _____________________________________
_________________________________      _____________________________________
_________________________________      _____________________________________

conclusion                                                       conclusion
_________________________________      _____________________________________

Do this at home and bring it to class for discussion. All students read their answers. If no one has the right answer, the teacher will use questions to get the answer from students.

Learning experience 6
Listen to and learn from the answers the quick learners provide for questions given to them.
Quick reader
Learning experience 1 (for the quick reader)
You’ll the first part of the passage marked with slashes to help you read for and with comprehension. Take a look at it, and if you’re in the habit of reading a passage this way, skip this exercise. Otherwise, do this exercise.

Learning experience 2 (for the quick learner)
Bunch words in the remaining passage and make the sense groups as long as possible, put slashes and read silently. 

Learning experience 3 (for the quick reader)
Write down the central idea at home and bring it to class for discussion.

Learning experience 4
Write a summary of the passage in three sentences.

Learning experience 5
Write your answer like this:
Event: Stuart Little eats the bread piece and dies.

hypothesis 1                                                    hypothesis 2
________________________________        ____________________________________

analysis                                                           analysis
_________________________________      _____________________________________  
_________________________________      _____________________________________
_________________________________      _____________________________________
_________________________________      _____________________________________
_________________________________      _____________________________________

conclusion                                                       conclusion
_________________________________      _____________________________________

Do this at home and bring it to class for discussion. All students read their answers. If no one has the right answer, the teacher will use questions to get the answer from students.

Learning experience 6
1. Summarise the Carthusian philosophy.
2. Has this philosophy really changed Drew? Explain.
3. Piece together Drew’s past life.
4. Discuss the effectiveness of the writer’s style in terms of paragraph organisation, choice of
    words, sentence structures (short and long).
5. write down words somewhat similar in meaning (synonyms) for
      scurried, nudged, baffled, repress, assuming
6. Explain the beauty of these expressions:
    His throat seemed lined with sand.
    It weighed almost nothing but the weight was dead.
    Drew’s stomach felt cold.
    His eyes stung.
    His throat felt swollen.
    His spine began to tingle.
7. Synonyms are used because they avoid monotonous repetition of a thought and add variety
    to the style. Enjoy the beauty of the writer’s style that these words produce:
         unmoving, inert, still, corpse, lifeless, the body
         blinked, glance, peer, stare, narrowed his eye vision, raised his eye
___________________________________________________________________________