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Teacher A

Teaches various levels of foreign language

How did you learn about differentiated instruction in


college? How was it presented?
I graduated in 1992 with degrees in *world language
they teach* and Speech Communication. The term
differentiated instruction was not part of the
educational lexicon of the day. It was not until I started
teaching at *school name was removed for anonymity
purposes* in 2007, and when the TEAM evaluation
system came to be the measurement of teacher
effectiveness that the term became part of mainstream
lingo.
o Do you feel you were adequately trained to use
differentiated instruction while you were in
college? In your districts/schools professional
development training?
Within World Languages, the term has been
thrown around and talked about somewhat, but
very little professional training has been offered on
differentiated instruction.
Do you do differentiated instruction in your class? Why
or why not?
I do not engage much differentiated instruction within
individual classes, but rather differentiate in College
Preparation, Honors, and AP courses.
The biggest reason for not engaging in differentiated
instruction is that WL classes are packed with 30-35
students. This number is far too large for a language
class in which we are expected to assess students in
speaking, reading, writing, and listening exercises as
well as teach cultural aspects of the language. Simply
put, it is too time-consuming. If classes were to have
smaller numbers, then we could look at the possibility

Teacher A
Teaches various levels of foreign language

of differentiating within each class that WL teachers


teach.
o Does differentiated instruction look different in an
AP class compared to a cp class? Why or why not?
No, at the AP level, students who signed into the
course know the expectations and the rigor that
the class will entail. If you sign up for a college
level course, you should be expected to produce
college level work. If a student is not capable,
then student and parents should make other
course selections.

What does differentiated instruction look like


in your class?
Do you arrange students in groups or in
seats based on students abilities?
I do group students according to
capabilities without them knowing. I
move students around every 3-4 weeks
and put them near students with similar,
or higher capabilities. For students who
are lower functioning, I try to seat them
with helpful, kind students (which we
have a lot of at *school name was taken
out for anonymity purposes*).

Do you assign different things to


different students in your class based on
their demonstrated interest/mastery of
material?

Teacher A
Teaches various levels of foreign language

No, again, based on time limitations and


large class size, I do not. However, I
make myself available after school to
help any student who needs additional
help. Furthermore, our Honor Society
students offer free tutoring to students
who may need extra help.
Do you find differentiated instruction to be a practical
approach in a class of 35 students? 20? 10?
o If it is proven that this type of instruction is greatly
beneficial to students, but impractical in a class
with 30 students in it, does that prove that smaller
class sizes would promote learning? OF COURSE
Do you agree with this statement?
What are your thoughts on differentiated instruction in
general? In relation to the subject you teach?
DI is not very practical in WL language classes
with 30-35 students. In the lower levels,
students are learning language concepts as if
they were children and learning their second
language for the first time. Learning vocabulary
and basic grammatical constructs is not very
difficult. Students who perform poorly are
usually the ones who are not dedicated to
learning and are absent from class. It is very
difficult to perform poorly with beginning
language instruction, if students are attentive
and in attendance.
Teachers are expected to differentiate. Are all state
tests students are required to take differentiated? If not,
what does this do to the students who maybe are not as
advanced and who have been taught differently than
the average student? What are your thoughts on this?

Teacher A
Teaches various levels of foreign language

WL does not offer state tests. Students in first year


take a county wide exam that is so heavily curved
that even the lowest performing student passes, due
to many points added to their final exam. 25% of
their grade comes from their final exam performance.
Needless to say, many students pass level 1-language
courses and are promoted to level 2 based on the
fallacy that they passed the course, when in fact
their raw score does not show mastery.