Teaching Students with Diverse Abilities

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Teaching students whose first language is not English is often a challenging task. This essay will focus on a few effective teaching and learning strategies for teaching business studies to second-language learners (ESL learners) in the context of the mainstream classroom.

Studies reveal that the negative effects of wrong beliefs about learning are significant (Sawir 2005). However, it has also been suggested that it is possible to intervene in relation to beliefs about learning (Sawir 2005). Hence a clear understanding of belief issues is of paramount importance for teachers. Care should be taken to give speaking and listening skills the appropriate status and these should be backed by comprehensive practical programs (Sawir 2005).
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The guidance of an ESL mentor can help a teacher understand his/her ESL students quickly and prevent possible problems later in the year (Mittica 2003). The ESL mentor can also provide training on accommodations and alternate forms of assessment.

The ESL mentor can assist the teacher to set achievable goals for ESL students at the beginning of the semester. In teaching ESL students, success is not always measured on a report card. Therefore, teachers have to be guided to observe his/her ESL students closely by focusing on issues such as the progress demonstrated by the student over time and by observing to see if the student is more comfortable participating in class and asking questions (Mittica 2003). Above all, ESL mentors can provide a "vision of students as capable individuals for whom limited English proficiency does not signify a lack of academic skills and does not represent an incurable situation" (Walqui, 1999 in Mittica, 2003). ESL mentors can guide mainstream teachers in discovering his/her students ' strengths and to celebrate multicultural education (Mittica 2003). By fully involving mainstream classroom teachers in the education of ESL students, these students will be more likely to achieve success and adjust to their lives in a new country (Mittica 2003).


Teachers need to work in partnership with parents and the wider community to
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