Investigating Mixed-Ability Teaching in Taiwanese Primary Schools

  •  Ling-Ying Huang    


In 2001, Taiwan reformed English language teaching in primary schools, and a mixed ability approach was taken as an organisational method for this. Many teachers claim that they encounter numerous difficulties in catering for different needs because of the large number of differences between students. However, the debate and comparisons between the traditional streamed approach and the current mixed ability approach continues in Taiwan. This study seeks to explore Taiwanese English teachers’ attitudes towards MAT (mixed ability teaching) and MAC (mixed ability class) in primary schools. To do this, a questionnaire was distributed to 80 English teachers in Taiwanese primary schools. The findings show that the majority of the participants agree that the mixed-ability approach can help students fit into society; however, over one third of the teachers did not agree that students can learn effectively in MAT and over half claimed that they had difficulties catering for different individuals, especially the ablest and weakest students. Furthermore, they state that the current class size, learning hours, equipment and other additional factors cause difficulties for MAT (mixed ability teaching).

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