Differentiated instruction in a university English CALL setting

Kevin Watson & Grant Agawa

Tomlinson (2003) defines Differentiated Instruction (DI) as the process of teachers proactively planning various opportunities for learning in order to meet students’ diverse learning needs. However, university English language programs are often skills specific and in the attempt to focus on those skills, some teachers may not take DI into account. When teaching and learning styles differ, hurdles such as lower self-confidence in students can arise, for example, in a Japanese university CALL course, which can be quite different from traditional classes in the Japanese educational system. In an attempt to deal with various learning styles, DI was applied to a Japanese university-level CALL English listening skills course. Through student entrance and exit surveys, 65 second-year English language majors were analyzed in regard to their perceived confidence and their reaction to a Differentiated Instruction CALL environment prior to and following 15 weeks of instruction. Increases in student confidence were found.
トムリンソン(2003)は Differentiated Instruction (DI)を、学生の多様な学習スタイルに合わせるため教師が様々な機会を予測し計画する過程と定義している。しかしながら大学の英語のプログラムではスキル(読み、書き、聞き、話す)を特定しこれらのスキルに焦点を合わせるため、教師がDIを使わない場合が多くある。例えばCALLのコース等は日本の伝統的な授業スタイルとは異なる事が多く、その結果教え方と学習スタイルが一致せず、学生の自信を低下させるという障害が生じる可能性がある。よってこの研究では、DIと統合スキルがどのように学生の自信と語学力に影響を与え、又学生がDIに関してどう感じているかを調べた。英語専攻の2年生65名への学習前と学習後の調査を比べると、15週間の学習を行った後では、学生の自信と目標言語能力の向上に加え様々なDIの評価が上がった事が検証された。