English language teachers’ perceptions of differentiated instruction at a foundation school in Turkey: A case study

Tokatlı, Esma
Process of learning a new language can be a challenging journey shaped by various differences students bring into the classrooms. This situation can pave the way for adopting the differentiated instruction approach. Since teachers are the ones managing the process of differentiated instruction, they hold a significant place as stakeholders. Therefore, this case study aims to investigate the ways the instruction is differentiated in English lessons in a private middle school in Ankara and how the teachers perceive differentiated instruction. Fifteen teachers took part in the study, and the data was collected with interviews and analysis of ten lesson plans. The inductive analysis approach was applied to analyse the qualitative data, and significant themes emerged. The findings revealed that the English teachers taking part in this case study differentiate their instruction mainly on the products of their lessons considering their students’ readiness level, working style preferences, and interests. They perceived differentiation with many advantages, such as the increase in student motivation, engagement and academic progress. Regarding the disadvantages, the participants observed the emergence of negative feelings and negatively affected class atmosphere because of some students’ negative perceptions. Findings also revealed the obstacles and challenges of the participants, such as lack of support and information regarding differentiated instruction. The results also showed that the teachers overcome these challenges mostly with the help of their co-workers. Considering these findings, the current study provided some recommendations regarding the role of the institutions and integration of differentiated instruction in teacher education programs.


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Citation Formats
E. Tokatlı, “English language teachers’ perceptions of differentiated instruction at a foundation school in Turkey: A case study,” M.A. - Master of Arts, Middle East Technical University, 2022.