More on Multilevel Classes: A Few Ideas

Hi everyone!

 Last month I discussed multilevel classrooms. This month I share some ideas to I have done in class.

 Jigsaw Reading

A very interesting and challenging way for students to deal with a reading passage!


  1. Choose a reading passage.
  2. Pre-teach vocabulary and grammar.
  3. Cut the reading into 3-4 or more parts, depending on size.
  4. Make copies if you have more students than parts of text.


  1. Distribute the parts of text among students.
  2. Each student reads their part silently to themselves.
  3. High-level students should receive the more challenging parts.
  4. Mid-level students should receive parts that contain discourse markers.
  5. Low-level students short introductory parts.

After reading:

  1. Low-level students get into groups and work out their doubts
  2. Mid-level students in groups try to figure out comes after their part.
  3. Advanced-level students in groups should figure out what comes before.

Final Whole Class Activity:

  1. Students try to reconstruct the article in the correct order, and check it against the original article.

Using an Article

This is a good procedure for dealing with difficult articles in multilevel classrooms. The idea is that with the one article each group works at their own level.


  1. Ask pre-reading questions on title, sub-titles, and illustrations.
  2. Ask predictions about the content of the text based on their answers
  3. Go over key vocabulary.
  4. Distribute the text to class (if necessary, before that divide text into parts)
  5. Ask students to read text (or parts of text).
  6. Divide students into as many different leveled groups as necessary.
  7. Advanced-level groups might write their reactions to the content of the article (or part) or be asked to discuss their reactions to the article (or part).
  8. Intermediate-level groups might answer a multiple choice quiz or content-based questions.
  9. Low-intermediate groups might do a fill-in-the-blank exercise on the vocabulary or sentences from the article.
  10. After checking the answers to activities the teacher may ask if low level want to try the mid-level and if mid-level want to try advanced-level activities.

Let me hear your reactions and results, if you use any of these!

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Laura Miccoli

Laura Miccoli is a professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais and a researcher, consultant, and founder of Transforma Educacional – a social business to develop teachers professionally. She has authored “Ensino e Aprendizagem de Inglês: experiências, desafios e possibilidades” and “Aproximando Teoria e Prática para Professores de Línguas Estrangeiras”.

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