Differentiated Reading Instruction

What and How

Abstract

This article was developed by Julie W. Ankrum , Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and Rita Bean, PHD, Professeor at Univerisy of Pittsburgh


Purpose: "Explore the nature of differentiated reading instruction" (Ankrum & Bean, 2008, p. 134).

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This article provides information about two aspects:

1. Brief history of DIFFERENTIATED READING INSTRUCTION


2. Practical ideas that may help teachers to meet students' needs

1. DIFFERENTIATED READING INSTRUCTION

2. EARLY ATTEMPTS AT DIFFERENTIATION: ABILITY GROUPING

1950’s

Ability Grouping

1. Assess students

2. Group homogeneously by reading ability

3. Design "different lesson to suit the needs of the students in each group" (p. 135)

1980’s

Arguments against Ability grouping

1.- Lower-achieving groups receive less text and their reading “occurred at a slower pace” (p. 135).

2.- Higher-achieving groups received “more text at a faster pace

(Barr, 1971; Pallas, Entwisle, Alexander, & Stluka, 1994, as cited in Ankrum & Bean, 2008, p. 135)

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3. DOES DIFFERENTIATION OCCUR TODAY?

Some studies on literacy instruction revealed that whole-class arrangement is the most used.

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Other studies on “exemplary teachers of literacy” (p. 136) showed that

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4. HOW DO EXEMPLARY TEACHERS DIFFERENTIATE?

v Teach in small groups

v Teacher-student interaction

v Scaffolding/coaching

v Use a variety of strategies to engage students

HOW DO TEACHERS DO THIS?

v Use “systematic and on-going assessment in the formation of their groups” (p. 137).

v Change group formation according the assessment results

v Low-reading level students received as many higher-level teaching strategies (p. 136).

5. POINTS TO CONSIDER FOR DIFFERENTIATED READING INSTRUCTION

  1. Assessment
  2. Grouping Formats
  3. Classroom Management
  4. Materials
  5. Length and Frequency of Instruction
  6. Lesson Focus
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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1.-Considering the importance of grouping configuration in the classroom to meet students’ needs, how would you avoid the Matthew effect to help struggling readers?

2.-In your EFL classrooms in Ecuador, what strategies would you use

to provide all students different reading instruction according to their needs?

Reference


Ankrum, J. W., & Bean, R. M. (2008). Differentiated reading instruction: What and how. Reading Horizons, 48(2), 133-148.