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It is becoming increasingly common in New Zealand learning languages classrooms for students at years 11, 12 and 13 to be combined within a single class due to the low numbers of students at each of these year levels. As a result language teachers are tasked with teaching classes of students with very different levels of language proficiency. They also need to adequately prepare students for the different NCEA (National Certificate of Educational Achievement) requirements at each of these levels. Current language teachers and student teachers rate this is one of the biggest challenges of their role. Questionnaires and interviews will be used to develop a more in-depth and nuanced understanding of the challenges faced. Case studies will also be used to explore the pedagogy and strategies teachers use to manage and teach multi-level classes. Through this research a range of experiences and successful strategies will be generated and shared with the language teaching community. The need for further professional development will also be explored. This research aims to contribute to the literature on differentiation and will have implications for language teachers and also the wider teaching community.
Dr Karen Ashton
Page authorised by Director, Institute of Education
Last updated on Tuesday 16 August 2016