DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION AND ANTI-RACIST EDUCATION IN EFL LESSON PLANNING AND TEACHING. THE CASE STUDY OF ALICE WALKER’S “IN SEARCH OF OUR MOTHERS’ GARDENS” IN AN EFL CLASSROOM
This study focuses on planning an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) lesson based on a combination of the principles of Differentiated Instruction and Anti-racist Education. The lesson plan presented was part of a cross curricular topic on Modern Languages, Literature and Social Studies concerning the work “In Search of Our Mothers’ Garden” of Alice Walker. That lesson makes the students be informed about the history of African American women in America and how their vibrant, creative spirit succeeded in surviving in a dismal world filled with many oppressive hardships, slavery and racism. Through various differentiated activities the students become aware of the fact that oppressed black women managed to keep their heritage and creative spirit alive despite the harsh conditions, suffering and the violation of human rights. Critical thinking and anti-racist spirit are encouraged in class through several differentiated tasks connected with literary analysis. Participants were 18 students in the third year of α Junior High School of Athens in Greece. Discussing with the teacher about possible learning scenarios based on the principles of differentiated Instruction and anti-racist education was the first step towards the design of the lesson. Classroom observation was used as a research tool. Assessment of the lesson plan was provided by worksheets, questionnaires, portfolios and discussion with the students. The present study contributes to teaching literary analysis and vocabulary in context and providing differentiated means of representation, action, expression and engagement.