The Reflection on the Workshop
Today, it is such a great chance for me to attend the workshop discussing about one of the hottest issues in English teaching – Differentiated Instruction (DI). In the beginning of the class, the speaker Fortuna Lu (呂佳玲老師) made a clear definition of what teaching is. She shared the saying of William Ward: The mediocre teacher tells, the good teacher explains, the superior teacher demonstrates, and the great teacher inspires. This reminds me of another inspiring saying of Benjamin Franklin: Tell me and I will forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I will understand. Involving students is the point! However, in the real teaching scenario, a class is composed of students of varied English levels, from far behind basic, basic, intermediate, high-intermediate to even advanced ones. Honestly speaking, this situation frustrates teachers quite a lot. Luckily, Mrs. Lu shared with us the tips to do DI in the real teaching scenario.
First, teachers have to analyze teaching materials. Textbooks from different publishers may vary somehow. Teachers are supposed to know clearly what they are going to teach. Next, to understand the students more is a better way to do DI. Teachers have to know students’ previous experiences on learning English, such as how long they have been learning English, if they attend extracurricular English courses, etc. Since our students are of diverse English levels, one teaching strategy cannot fit all. For visual learners, teachers can make good use of visual aids to help students learn English. As for audio learners, teachers could supply students with more audio learning materials. Also, predicting is a very important reading strategy for students to learn. Guessing from the context or pictures also helps students to catch the main idea of an article without knowing every single word.
This workshop is quite impressive. It provides the pedagogical know-how for teachers to practice DI. I believe that ‘no child left behind’ could be an achievable goal. Let’s go for it!