Enhancing the Learning Of all students
in a Diverse ClassroomIt is a priority for all educators to provide an effective education for all of the students
. This is often a great challenge especially in a diverse classroom environment. Diversity in student
populations includes differences of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, and beliefs. Additionally, diversity amongst students
can include a multitude of experiences and attitudes. It is important for teachers to acknowledge the differences within the classroom and incorporate them into the learning objectives. This will also require the teacher to utilize a diversity of teaching skills and styles.
To maximize the amount of learning in the classroom it is important that all students
feel comfortable and safe in their learning environment. Teachers must tolerate, respect, understand, and educate other students
about the differences within the classroom (Mujtaba.) Assumptions from the teacher may limit a students
ability for success, it is not up to the teacher to decide how a student
can be based on the first impression. Teachers must be aware of the student
's personal desires, abilities, goals, and efforts which measure their success. Once they are aware of these goals, teachers can boost the students
self-confidence through goal oriented learning, creating short-term goals that will give students
a sense of achievement (Hue.)
Diverse classrooms will benefit from synergy. According to Majutaba, ?Synergy happens when two or more individuals working together produce more than their combined efforts individually.? Group work is a great example of how synergy can be used to enhance the students
learning experience. When students
are assigned a group project they are able to combine their knowledge, ideas, and experience to create a final product which turns out much better than an individual's project. The students
will also have the opportunity to practice their language in a practical way while working together towards a final goal. Social interaction through group work is a primary medium for language acquisition (Turner, 23). It allows for the students
to operate the language in real time. Although group work has many benefits , if diversity awareness is not taught or considered than it may produce negative synergy amongst the students
. It is important to make sure that all of the students
are actively involved and participating.
In a diverse classroom, teachers must be aware of the audience and create an inclusive learning environment where all students
are actively involved and understand the concepts. This may require the teacher to utilize a variety of teaching styles and methods. The task-based learning (TBL) style has been found to be especially effective when teaching language. TBL is a theory of learning rather than the theory of language (Turner, 23). It is a theory central to learning because it creates meaning to the language. TBL places the learner at the center, understanding that language learning is an organic process led by the internal process of the student
, not a product dictated by the agenda of the teacher (Turner, 23). Through various tasks, learners are given more responsibility for their learning. The teacher's agenda must be centered around the real world needs which come from a student
analysis. Not all students
will be at the same level in the classroom so different tasks can be devised to suite different levels, or the same task can be adjusted to the individuals ability (Hue.)
Another challenge which will often arise in a diverse classroom includes the reluctance of many learners to speak. As stated earlier, diversity awareness will assist with creating a comfortable environment for all of the student
. There are however many other factors which make students
feel anxious in the classroom. The teacher will benefit from figuring out their individual anxieties and adjusting their teaching techniques and tasks to meet the individuals needs. Teachers are able to build a supportive learning environment through encouraging peer support in the classroom, being sensitive when assigning groups, making the classroom environment non-threatening, and through introduce opportunities for students
to speak outside of the class (Hue). Teachers can also encourage the participation of all students
by making use of students
background knowledge and experience and incorporating them into tasks. Promoting a positive attitude amongst students
will also allow them to feel free to speak in the classroom (Hue.) Although teachers are met with a variety of challenges in a diverse classroom, through the use of a variety of teaching techniques and the placement of the learner at the center of the teacher's agenda, they will be able to enhance the motivation and learning ability of all students
Hue, Nguyen Minh. (2010). Encouraging Reluctant ESL/EFL Learners to Speak in the Classroom.
The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. XVI, No. 3:March 2010.http://iteslj.org/Techniques/Nguyen-ReluctantSpeakers.html
Mujtaba, B., Mujtaba, L. Creating a Healthy Learning Environment for student
Success in the Classroom. The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. X, No. 2: February 2004.http://iteslj.org/Articles/Mujtaba-Environment.html.
Turner, S. Exploring Task Based Learning. Horizons ? The Quarterly Journal of David?s English Teaching World Issue 6: December 2008.