The effects of differentiated reading instruction on reading comprehension and self-efficacy of Thai undergraduate students
Keywords:differentiated instruction, mixed-ability students, reading comprehension, self-efficacy, tiered assignment
This study examined the effects of differentiated reading instruction (DRI) on the reading comprehension and self-efficacy of undergraduate students. The study indicated their improvement in both areas after the intervention. Thirty-three students attending the course of English for Scientists were chosen for the study. The pre-test in reading comprehension and the self efficacy questionnaire were administered before the intervention. The scores of the pre-test of reading comprehension were used to divide the students into two groups according to their level of reading proficiency: lower-proficiency level students and higherproficiency level students. The post-test of reading comprehension and that of self-efficacy was administered after the course to measure the students’ improvement. The content, process and product were tiered to divide the students into two groups. To differentiate the content and process, the materials were tiered according to each group’s reading ability level. Intermediate-level students received the on-level texts while beginner-level students received the simplified texts. Scaffolding was also provided to the students to help their reading according to their proficiency. To differentiate the product or students’ performance, the criteria for assessing students’ presentation were also adjusted to suit the level of the students. The findings showed a significant improvement in both reading comprehension and self-efficacy, with more significant improvement in the lowerlevel proficiency group. Further research should explore how differentiated instruction functions with learners in different contexts and other language skills.