Title

Perspectives on differentiation in practice : an interpretive study from teaching Japanese as a second language in Western Australian secondary schools

Date of Award

1-1-2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Faculty

Faculty of Education and Arts

Abstract

This focus of this interpretive study was aimed at presenting an active conception of differentiated curriculum from within the context of Western Australian (WA) second language teaching practice. Significantly, research into differentiation is a relatively new phenomenon in Australia and in particular, to WA second language teaching. Data was collected from seven Japanese language tcachers and their perspectivcs illustrated the realities of individual teaching in the construction and implementation of diffrerentiated curriculum. These teachers worked within an outcomes-based Curriculum Framework (Curriculum Council. 1998) mandate which defines curriculum for all WA schools and require responsive teaching to cater for the myriad range of learners apparent in classrooms. Differentiation authors suggest how teachers may differentiate classroom elements of ' content', 'process'. 'product' and 'learning environment' and design curriculum in response to student needs and address learner characteristics of 'readiness', 'interest', 'learning profile' and 'affect'. Teachers' interviews in this study highlighted how students enter Year 8 with a range of prior primary school second language learning experience that differs in terms of intensity, duration or type. Students in transition to secondary school may therefore be both beginners and continuers of the Japanese language and be in the same Year 8 class.

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