Monday, January 5, 2015

Differentiating curriculum for multi-level English Language Learners

When you have English Language Learners in your classroom, you can't just wait until they are at a high level of English proficiency before introducing them to academic content.  That is why it is so important to have a variety of techniques to differentiate the material providing all levels of English learners access to the curriculum.

In their book, Leading and Managing a Differentiated Classroom (2010), Carol Ann Tomlinson and Marcia Imbeau describe differentiation as creating a balance between academic content and students' individual needs.  Differentiation is not the same as individualized instruction.  With differentiation, every student is learning the same material, but how they learn the material and then show what they've learned may be different.

The following WIDA newsletter on differentiation not only goes into more detail about ways to differentiate but also demonstrates how a lesson and assessment can be created to meet various student needs.

WIDA Focus on Differentiation