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    Adapt mediation tasks

How to adapt mediation tasks 

for use in different educational contexts

METLA tasks can be adapted in order to cater for different teaching and learning contexts. The METLA team offers ideas for differentiation across languages, and adaptation across CEFR language proficiency levels, or teaching contexts.

Using various/different languages 

Having the source texts presented in different languages accompanied by the task instructions in the foreign language is an example of how mediation tasks allow for the use of different languages depending on the teaching context.

In the first task (Task 4) learners are asked to read the text (a text message by a friend who has lost his dog) and then create a flyer for a missing dog. The METLA team provides different versions of the source text (i.e., in different languages, Finnish, Greek and English) in order: i) to leave room to the teacher to pick up the appropriate source text for his/her context; and ii) to show that the teacher can produce his/her own text in any language depending on the student population.

In second task (Task 6) the teacher can provide students in a multilingual class, with a template (in this case a leaflet) which defines the text type to be produced. On the basis of this template students can insert information in their home languages.

Adapting tasks for different contexts

Some tasks may be relevant to students with specific socio-cultural knowledge but not to others. In this case, the task may need to be adapted to another context with which students are familiar.

Here is an example of a lesson (Task 8) which can be adapted by the teacher in order to be relevant to the needs of his/her students. In this activity, students read a (Language A) text regarding airport transportation, and they then write informal short messages as part of written text communication with an exchange student.The same information has to be used by students in order to write an email to the exchange student’s parent.

Here one may find some suggestions: download the pdf with ideas.

Differentiating across (CEFR) language proficiency levels

Many tasks can be differentiated so that they can be used for different learning levels. While the same source text may be used, different tasks can be assigned which are suitable for lower or higher levels of learning. One way of doing this relates to the text type or genre of the target text: whereas students at lower levels might be required to produce a simpler genre, such as an email to a friend, students at a more advanced level may be asked to produce in English (the foreign language) more complex text types, such as a newspaper article or a report.

Ideas for differentiating across CEFR language proficiency levels:

  • At lower levels it is important to present new knowledge and ideas through visual means or illustrations to accompany the texts. This may not be necessary for higher level students working on the same (or a similar) task;
  • The language teacher can vary the length of time or the number of lessons for each task;
  • S/he can prepare task sheets including tasks which get progressively harder;
  • S/he could distinguish between mediation at the level of reception and mediation at the level of production (the foreign language is used for understanding and the known language is used for production).