MEETING STUDENTS' DIVERSE NEEDS FOR READING THROUGH DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION STRATEGIES
The focus of this research is on meeting South East European University (SEEU) students’ diverse needs for reading. Although in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classroom, all four language skills are important, reading becomes most important when students enter university without enough strategies for reading. Therefore the reading material presented should be differentiated to suit everyone’s needs. According to Biancarosa & Snow (2006) "a full 70 percent of U. S. middle and high school students require differentiated instruction (DI), which is instruction targeted to their individual strengths and weaknesses" (p.8). Consequently, since it is difficult for native learners to read in their mother tongue then it can be imagined how difficult it might be for EFL learners to read in English. Thus, differentiation in reading classrooms becomes an important responsibility for EFL lecturers. The methods of data collection used in this research were teacher questionnaires and classroom observations to help discover the level of knowledge and application of DI reading strategies among SEEU EFL lecturers to meet diverse learners’ needs. The results of the study conducted showed that there is a discrepancy between the researcher’s observations and lecturers’ responses regarding the application of DI strategies and also there is some inconsistency between some lecturers’ own responses that claim to have applied DI strategies but fail to provide examples of such tasks. Hopefully, this research will help raise teachers’ awareness that DI reading strategies should be implemented in their EFL classes generally as well as in their reading classes to enhance diverse students’ reading skills and help them with their academic development.
International Burch University