The Impact of Differentiated Task-Based Instruction via Heeding Learning Styles on EFL Learners' Feasible Proficiency Gains

Parviz Alavinia, Tahereh Sadeghi


Around three decades of scrupulous work, theorizing and experimentation in the realm of differentiated instruction (DI) has given it an exalted status. Yet, the fuzziness, in terms of methodological and practical concerns, with which the theory was once characterized, hasn't yet completely been tackled. The present study is, hence, an attempt to partly diminish this aura of blurredness and imprecision surrounding DI, particularly for novice practitioners, via offering a partly novel agenda for implementing and running a differentially instructed class. Mainly drawing on the learning style differences among individuals, the current probe launches a framework for dealing with learners' differences and preferences through the application of differentiated task-based instruction. Using a small sample size of academic freshmen (totaling 47) and tapping the learning-style-relevant information via the administration of Chislett and Chapman's (2005) learning styles inventory, the current researchers tried to pinpoint the potential impact of differentiated instruction on EFL learners' proficiency. The final analysis of data, yet, to the great surprise of the researchers, ran contrary to the study postulations, as no significant proficiency differences resulting from differentiated task-based instruction were found to exist between the experimental and control groups.

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