How to Embrace Diverse Learners in an Effective Learning Classroom?


Teaching a class of diverse learners poses a great challenge not only for foreign and second language teachers, but also for teachers in different disciplines. Diversity is represented in students’ motivation, their prior knowledge, their various needs and interests, their level of anxiety, and their different learning styles and skills.
Thus, this paper shares the experience in teaching advanced modern standard Arabic as a foreign language to diverse learners while adopting the universal design for learning (UDL) framework. The significance of UDL lies in stressing the importance of enabling the entire diverse students to gain skills, knowledge, and enthusiasm to learn through the employment of teaching methods that respond to students' individual differences. Accordingly, the educational curriculum developed for this course and the teaching methods employed are modified in the light of the UDL.
Detailed samples of the educational curriculum and interactive collaborative activities developed, accompanied by methods of teaching employed to teach these diverse learners are presented for illustration.
Results revealed that students are responsive to the educational materials which are developed for this course. Therefore, they engaged in the learning process and classroom activities and discussions effectively. They also appreciated their instructor’s willingness to differentiate the teaching methods to suit students of diverse background knowledge, learning styles, level of anxiety, etc. Finally, results of this research will help language teachers, teachers in other disciplines, and curriculum designers to develop a better understanding to meet their students' diverse needs.

Author Information
Mona Hassan, American University in Cairo, Egypt

Paper Information
Conference: SEACE2024
Stream: Learning Experiences

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon