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The Effects of Differentiated Instruction on English Grammar Learning of Junior High School Students
Lee, Yi Lun
Huang, Shu Chen
Lee, Yi Lun
|Issue Date:||2015-08-03 13:43:30 (UTC+8)|
This current study investigated the effects of integrating differentiated instruction into grammar teaching in junior high school English classes. The main purposes were to explore whether or not differentiated instruction improved the students' grammar achievements in general, whether students, when divided into, low, intermediate and high proficiency levels, respectively benefited from such instruction on grammar learning, and what students' experiences and thoughts were after receiving differentiated grammar instruction.
The participants of this quasi-experimental study were 54 seven graders who received differentiated instruction for a total of eleven weeks. The researcher adopted two differentiated instructional strategies, tiered tasks and flexible grouping, to teach grammar. In the warm-up stage, the instructor taught grammar points in the whole class model. After the instruction, low, intermediate and high proficiency learners received different tiered tasks and flexible grouping respectively to do the grammar exercises. Low proficiency learners (LPL) were required to finish multiple choice exercises in small groups, intermediate proficiency learners (IPL) had to complete fill-in exercises in pairs and high proficiency learners (HPL) did the sentence making exercises with picture cues independently.
Their performance on the pre- and posttest designed by the researcher was analyzed by independent t-test and ANCOVA. Their thoughts about experiencing DI were collected through focus group interviews. And the findings of the study were summarized as follows:
1. Students in the experimental group outperformed those in the control group significantly (p<.05).
2. When students in the experimental group were divided into three subgroups, only
LPL improved their performance on the multiple choice section, and the other two groups showed no significant differences in comparison to their counterparts in the control group.
3. HPLs' preferences for DI were lower than those of LPL and IPL.
The learning difficulties of LPL were vocabulary and sentence-making; of IPL were vocabulary, sentence-making, and speaking, and of HPL were reading, speaking, listening and grammar. Both LPL and IPL thought DI was beneficial for them to overcome the learning difficulties
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