The purpose of this action research was to analyze my own teaching in relation to the InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards, with a specific focus on Standard #2 learner differences, Standard #7 planning for instruction and Standard #4, content knowledge. From these standards and my philosophy of education, I identified three research questions regarding my own teaching practice: (1) How do I differentiate in my lesson plans and instructional activities to respond to diverse student needs? (2) How does my teaching reflect a gradual release of responsibility? And (3) what is my preferred language teaching method? I conducted thematic analysis of formal lesson plans, observer feedback and rubrics, a reflective journal, and miscellaneous data that arose during collection, such as student feedback. Results and discussion indicated growth over the course of the year in my ability to differentiate and release responsibility for learning to students while proficiency-oriented instruction that balanced meaning and form emerged as my preferred language method. I also found a general preference for the Natural Approach of the Somos Spanish curriculum compared to the Communicative Approach of the Realidades curriculum. Additional goals that arose for future action research were differentiating up for higher-ability levels, data-guided instruction and diversity of assessments, and professional development on new language methods.

Keywords: action research, differentiation, gradual release of responsibility, proficiency-oriented instruction, Realidades, Somos.

Exit Requirement

Action Research

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching (initial licensure)

Committee Chair

Joshua Schulze

Committee Member

Suzanne McFarland-Price



Type (DCMI Terms)


Subject Categories


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