Differentiated instruction in reading activities has demonstrated a high level of effectiveness and a positive influence on the achievement of students. The teacher takes particular characteristics of the students and uses them for the adaptation of the reading materials. Moreover, such components as a process, product, and context of learning are changed according to the learners’ interests and capabilities. Thus, action research proves the high efficiency of differentiated instruction in reading.
Engaging Students with Differentiated Research in Reading
ESL students have difficulties dealing with a standard program. While it is not a good idea to separate them from the educational process equal to ENL students, a differentiated approach in reading can be beneficial.
- It suits the educational plan. Differentiated instruction in reading has become a popular subject for action research due to the widespread use of this method and its importance for the educational process in American schools.
- It is suitable for both ESL and ENL students. The classes that involve students who learn English as a foreign or second language also prove the positive influence and validity of the use of differentiated instruction in reading.
- It is scientifically approved. The researchers have practically investigated the effectiveness of particular instruments exploited in this strategy.
- It works in both big and small groups. As such, it is possible to divide students into several groups according to their knowledge level, propose the tasks based on the learning outcomes, explore the individual specialties of individuals’ memory and cognition, and adapt the sources for reading as well as rotate them between the learners.
- It strengthens students’ engagement. The creation of amusing reading tasks that engage young people’s interests is another way of promoting differentiated instruction. Furthermore, there are several practical reasons why differentiated instruction in reading is essential nowadays.
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How a Differentiated Approach Makes Academia More Modern
It is essential to outline the primary reasons why differentiated instruction in reading is necessary for the modern education sector. The action research on this subject does not only illustrate the practical methods that derive from the strategy mentioned above. It focuses on the distinction of the reasons why the differentiated approach to teaching reading activities plays a role in education and encourages pedagogues to imply this concept in practice.
The present-day educational system in the US despite huge advancements and technological improvements still experiences the crisis . The problem relates to the gap between students who are the members of minority communities or have low income and those who have better social status and financial capabilities.
The sharp division that exists in American society affects children and their academic achievements. The individualized approach to reading activities assists in recognizing the differences and personal features of each student. Thus, differentiated instruction creates a positive influence on the literacy levels and provides the opportunity to eliminate the existing social gap.
Improving Literacy — a Silver Bullet Our Nation Needs
The utilization of differentiated instruction in reading is a useful tool for improving literacy on the national level. It is an effective component of reducing the current crisis in the US educational system according to research which mirrors the ethical and economic diversity in the community. At the same time, despite this evident benefit, another action study reflects the lack of teachers’ motivation and encouragement to exploit this strategy. Among the questioned teachers, only a small percentage tends to practically exploit the differentiated instruction reading.
There may be several causes of this phenomenon, and the lack of motivation or comprehension of this pedagogical model is one of them. Some teachers do not observe the perspectives of exploiting the personalized approach. Moreover, this strategy is demanding for the pedagogues and requires a high level of expertise, effort, and time for developing individual tasks and evaluation assessments. Usually, only gifted students receive differentiated instruction in reading, so the gap between young people and their academic experience is increasing.
Differentiated Approach in Non-Homogeneous Classes
Despite the presence of particular issues in the context of practical use of the strategy, there is a wide area of exploitation of this method in diverse US educational facilities. Furthermore, differentiated instruction in reading is also applicable to students with disabilities.
The classes are not homogenous and may involve individuals with an autism spectrum disorder. As such, these students necessitate a personalized approach that would allow them to develop skills and function similarly to their peers. Specifically, this intervention plays a crucial role during the early childhood stages when such abilities as reading should be properly enhanced to allow further education and academic achievement. It is essential that differentiated instruction in reading provides an opportunity to reduce the negative effects of autism spectrum disorder. As such, the child can be easily integrated within the class and interact with peers and teachers effectively.
In conclusion, the strategy of differentiated instruction in reading has been actively used since 1999 and gained a high value for US schools. It provides numerous benefits to the teachers and students while enhancing the national literacy levels at the same time. This method allows meeting the individual needs of young people and assists them in developing their skills and expertise. Although some pedagogues do not utilize this approach actively, there are many reasons for implementing this concept and building the academic process on its base.