Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

Differentiating language demands


About this Illustration of Practice

For this group interview activity, the teacher allocates roles according to different levels of English language proficiency. Those with lower levels are positioned as interviewees, and the teacher guides the higher proficiency interviewers and scribes to creatively negotiate meaning with them, for example reframing questions with alternative vocabulary and grammar or adding sub-questions. Thus each student can extend herself at her own level and is supported to do so.

Standard 4
Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments
Focus area 4.1
Support student participation
Career stage
Proficient
Descriptor
Establish and implement inclusive and positive interactions to engage and support all students in classroom activities.
Other descriptors
Standard 1
Know students and how they learn
Focus area 1.3
Students with diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds
Career stage
Proficient
Descriptor
Design and implement teaching strategies that are responsive to the learning strengths and needs of students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Standard 1
Know students and how they learn
Focus area 1.5
Differentiate teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities
Career stage
Proficient
Descriptor
Develop teaching activities that incorporate differentiated strategies to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities.
  1. In what ways might you adjust EAL/D tasks to set up achievable outcomes and genuine intercultural communication for all levels of English language proficiency?
  2. In what ways might you structure group work to differentially scaffold and extend students’ English language learning and intercultural competence?
  3. What do you see as the value and challenges of having different cultures and different levels of English proficiency in group work?
Learning area
English
Year level
Year 9
School
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College
South Australia
Year level
Year 9
Related subject
English
Stage of schooling
Secondary
School type
Non Government
School location
Metropolitan
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At the time of filming, this year 9 class comprises two cohorts: the local students assessed as needing development in English language and Australian cultures, and five students from the South Korean sister school who have just arrived on a study tour. In the previous lesson the local students designed questions to ask the visitors about schooling in Korea, taking account of cultural differences and limited English proficiency.

Content provider
Organisation
Australian Council of TESOL Associations

© Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), 2012 (except where indicated under acknowledgements). You may use, reproduce and adapt this material for educational purposes until 31 December 2016, provided you retain this notice and all acknowledgements associated with the material.