The most difficult part of teaching English to students of mixed nationalities in the same class would be how best to minimize differences between the instructor’s style of teaching and the respective cultural learning strategies of the students.
Several studies have been published on the learning strategies of various nationalities learning English. In one study of Vietnamese refugees in the U.S., both males and females used a strategy of listening to TV or radio. In another study, it was discovered reading extensively, mixing with fluent speakers, listening to English (radio, TV, debates and symposia), and referring constantly to the dictionary were common strategies among Nigerian university English majors. Further in a study of Nepalese students, it was found they commonly made notes and summaries, recopied notes and memorized texts as strategies.
Further, with this understanding of the respective cultural learning strategies of the students, a comprehensive strategy could be designed for the entire class where the teaching and learning experiences would be enhanced.
Now, in terms of the advantages of teaching English to students of mixed nationalities in the same class, two advantages will be discussed. First, there is the opportunity for students and the teacher to share ideas, beliefs, desires and expectations from their cultural perspectives which should help the members of the class develop an intercultural competency of each other’s backgrounds.
Second, there is the opportunity for the teacher and the students to network and develop friendships which may be beneficial in the future from a business and social perspective.
These two examples represent advantages of teaching English to students of mixed nationalities in the same class.