Students With Different Abilities

student sitting on chairs in front of chalkboard
Type: Vocabulary
Originally published on November 25, 2020 and last updated on February 4, 2023

When children first go to high school their ability is often not fully known which means that classes can be full of children with varying abilities in different subjects. If you have a class with children of very different levels this can cause a problem for the teacher as they can find that they’re unable to challenge the children who excel in the subject, and those who are struggling can also find it difficult to keep up and understand what is being taught in the classes. This is one of the reasons why some teachers and parents are in favour of students being separated into classes based on their ability.

Go through the vocabulary below with your students and ask them to try and use this vocabaulry where possible when discussing the different conversation questions.

Useful Vocabulary

Try and use the following vocabulary when answering the question. Click to look up the definition in the dictionary

  • student (noun)
  • ability (noun)
  • separate (verb)
  • struggle (verb)
  • excel (verb)
  • change (verb)
  • unable (verb)
  • base (verb)

Conversation Questions

  • Do you think high schools should separate children based on their ability?
  • Did your school separate students based on ability?
  • What are the positive aspects of separating students into classes based on their ability?
  • What are the negative aspects?
  • How do you think students should be divided into classes to ensure that everyone receives the best education?
This conversation topic was prepared by Gregory

Gregory is a qualified TEFL teacher who has been teaching English as a Foreign Language (ESL) for over a decade. He has taught in-person classes in Spain and to English learners around the world online.