Differentiated Instruction in the German Language Classroom

Northeast Modern Language Association
Washington, D.C., USA
March 21-24, 2019

Especially in upper-level (but also lower-level) German courses, students enter class with a wide variety of linguistic and critical/analytical skills. These differences can make it difficult for the instructor to find a common ground and to support each student appropriately. How can instructors deal with these differences in a positive and creative manner? What are the educational tools at their disposal?


Carol Ann Tomlinson and Marcia B. Imbeau suggest “differentiated instruction” as a strategy for meeting these differences. They argue that differentiated instruction does not mean to teach different content to each individual student. Instead, they propose catering to students’ needs by modifying class materials according to students’ different skill sets so that everyone is able to participate according to their respective skill levels. They advocate a model with four elements – content, process, product and affect – that instructors can adjust to meet the needs of individual students.


With Tomlinson and Imbeau’s work in mind, this roundtable will investigate strategies to keep all students motivated and give everyone a chance to learn. How can we quickly evaluate each student's individual interests and needs, strengths and weaknesses at the beginning of a course, in order to adjust our teaching strategies accordingly? Does technology in the classroom have the potential to be a valuable asset regarding differentiated instruction? How do we best assess the learning of our students and give grades that are not generic but have the skill set of each student in mind?

Please submit abstracts (250-3000 words) and a brief bio via the NeMLA portal by September 30, 2018. For conference information, registration, and submission, visit the conference website: https://www.buffalo.edu/nemla/convention.html.

Panel organizers: Viktoria Harms, University of Pittsburgh ([log in to unmask]) and Gabriele Maier, Carnegie Mellon University (eichegabi@hotmail.com)

******************* The German Studies Call for Papers List Editor: Sean Franzel Assistant Editor: Olaf Schmidt Sponsored by the University of Missouri Info available at: https://grs.missouri.edu/german/resources