Highly Varied Proficiency Levels in the Same Classroom — Differentiated Instruction as a Means of Effective Language Teaching

Instructors of the less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) often find themselves in classrooms where students’ language proficiency levels vary on a broad scale, spreading from novice to advanced. The question that arises in these situations is how to teach all of the students in a way that will provide for each of their individual language-progression needs, without losing classroom cohesion and interest. In such a setting, both teaching and learning pose a challenge to instructors and students alike. The UC Berkeley “Readings in Hungarian” course is a typical example of this challenge. The presentation will explore how adopting some aspects of differentiated instruction support a positive learning environment that welcomes students with different language proficiencies and helps them progress.

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