ASSESSING KINDERGARTEN TEACHERS’ EFFICACY IN ACCOMMODATING LEARNING STYLES OF CHILDREN IN HAWASSA CITY, SIDAMA REGION
Keywords:learning style, upper kindergarten, headmistress, differentiated instruction
The purpose of this study was to examine the practices of English language teachers in accommodating learning style differences among kindergartners in Hawassa city. The participants of the study were 128 teachers teaching at the upper kindergarten level, who were selected using a simple random technique. The data-gathering tools were questionnaires, classroom observations, and semi-structured interviews. The study adopted a mixed method in which both quantitative and qualitative data were employed in answering the research questions. The findings from each research tool showed that the majority of the kindergarten English teachers were aware of the learning style differences and techniques of accommodating it, but still others have a blurred understanding of the concept and this by itself is found to be an obstacle in learning style accommodation. The study also revealed that learning style difference identification and accommodation are highly ignored (unpractical) at this level due to the different challenges the practices are experiencing. Some of the challenges are bulky lesson content, absence or lack of teaching materials, large class size, classrooms that are not spacious enough to have different learning corners, and inadequacies of teachers’ training. Finally, the researcher recommended that those teachers teaching at this level need intensive on-job training, the class size needs to be reduced to a maximum of 12—18 students, and the contents in the textbook need also be of appropriate size according to the age level of the students.