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Soup Or Salad? Informed Eclecticism in the Mixed-Ability Classroom

EDMUND DUBLEY

Traditionally, the role of the teacher has been at the heart of language-teaching methodology; in the mixed-ability classroom, however, the needs of the learners are paramount. Finding the right approach to take with a group of students can therefore involve making a difficult choice from a rich menu of methodological possibilities. This talk will first argue that there is room for traditional methodologies in the modern mixed-ability classroom, and will suggest innovative ways of drawing from a variety of different approaches in an attempt to meet the specific needs, strengths and preferences of individual learners. Just as disparate ingredients combine to make a good salad, an informed and flexible approach that recognizes and celebrates individual diversity and personal preferences can allow us to enhance and enrich the learning experience for all.