Let’s say that you speak 5 languages: ABCDE. For simplicity sake, we assume you are fluent in all of them. Now, you are giving a speech to 10 people who have varying degrees of fluency in some of those languages (represented my font size). Most everyone speaks A, many speak B, a few C and D, and one E.
1 – ABCD 2 – ABC 3 – ABD 4 – ABCD 5 – AC 6 – A 7 – ACD 8 - AB
9 - A 10 - E
The first time through, everyone - except for 10 - is going to be able to understand it to some degree. Then you repeat the lecture four more times until everybody has heard it in their preferred language. Now, you ask if there are any questions. There are many because each person has their own strengths and weakness in each language. So, you answer each question and translate it for the others, as to not duplicate any questions. You then spend the rest of the time with 9 and 10 because 9 doesn’t understand “A” very well, and 10 has only heard everything once.
Ever been to a lecture like that? Of course not. If you were 1, 2, or 3, you would probably be bored and leave after the first reading, or just start talking to each other, while if you were 4-8, you would wonder why 1-3 are leaving, but being glad you are not 9 or 10, because they just don’t seem to understand, although it does frustrate you that the lecturer is talking to them more and not answering your questions (that was a really long sentence that I just wrote, sorry.) If you were 9 or 10, you would probably be on your smartphone most of the time because you don’t understand the 4 other languages.
Does that sound like a disastrous lecture?
Now, imagine that the lecturer is an educator, and the attendees are the students with different learning styles and accommodation needs. Welcome to a classroom. But wait! A classroom with only 10 students? In every teacher’s dream. Class size average is about 25, which means some have a lot more…
With possibly smaller class sizes mandated due to COVID-19 occupancy restrictions, there will be a need for more teachers, and each teacher will be able to devote more time to each student. If there is a silver lining to the crisis, then let’s hope that it works in favor of the teachers and their students.