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ELL Content for common core is critical

ELL supports for common core grade 3

For the last few years there has been a distinct lack of content for English language learners (ELLs) learning the common core concepts. The need for these resources is especially critical for 3rd grade ELLs as that is the period where the biggest gains can be made. It’s also ahead of the crucial grade 3/ grade 4 cliff. It’s been shown in many studies that if ELLs are not up to speed with their English language acquisition by grade 4 then they will struggle to ever catch up and be deemed a long-term English learner (LTEL), which puts them at high risk of ever gaining academic fluency. It’s also been shown that students, specifically Latino students, who do not reach a satisfactory level of academic fluency are also at much higher risk for incarceration later in their school career, as sited in The Edvocate.

The ELL challenge for educators

While the growth in the ELL student population is on the rise, the availability of bilingual resources and bilingual skills in educators is unable to keep pace. These educators play an absolutely critical role in the development of English language skills for these students, as they are typically the only channels of education the students have. The vast majority of supplemental materials available for educators often only provides translations of textbook content and do not provide much in the way of interactivity, or reinforcement of common core standards. The effect of this lack of resources puts a strain on the educators as well as the students and negatively impacts the standardized test scores by which the schools are judged and their funding determined.

The lack of published content for ELLs

There is very strong evidence that students who are provided with interactive and highly engaging academic content have a higher level of skill acquisition versus traditional, textbook driven curricula. In addition to this, we are being told that while textbook publishers do provide adequate materials for students that support the common core, there is still a massive lack of available supports for ELLs from these publishers.

A new approach for English language acquisition for ELLs

Lingo jingo has been working with school districts – and more importantly the teachers and students within these school districts - to help solve these challenges for English learners. We have developed coursework that reinforces the common core standards for students with a bilingual delivery. Our content also supports the California English language development standards, which are supplemental standards for California ELL students.

Merits of the ‘Preview / Review’ method

Lingo jingo has found that the most effective method for English language acquisition is the preview / review method. The preview/review method is where students are presented with new topics and concepts in their native language and then cover the same topics in English. This truly bilingual method ensures that students not only strengthen their academic English language skills, but also often strengthens their native language skills, which frequently lack a good foundation in academic subjects.

Rich, interactive supports for ELLs

The goal of any teacher resource, whether it’s a textbook or software, should be to accelerate language learning. And, any good resource should act as a supplement for the teacher and not try to supplant them. In particular, many computer software packages try to do this. The software startup world often does not realize the importance o the teacher in the school-student relationship. Lingo Jingo puts great weight into supporting teachers and ensuring our course materials are of the highest value to their goal of accelerating the language acquisition process. We deliver highly engaging and fresh content to reinforce classroom objectives. Our content library also offers scaffolding resources for educators to leverage for those students classified as Long term English learners (LTELs) who may require additional and more focused materials to help them meet the standards on which they will be tested – and on which they will need to accelerate language learning.

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