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Posted by Voyager Sopris Learning on Dec 6, 2018
English language learners (ELL) often enter U.S. schools with a literacy disadvantage. While they may be proficient in
their native language, many struggle to attain the English literacy and language skills needed to succeed
academically and engage in social interactions with their peers.
The good news is these students are not alone. Every year, new students arrive from countries around the world
where English is not the native language. Increasingly, U.S. school district officials are finding they have
students representing dozens of languages and cultures, all working to become proficient in English. Each
district faces the same challenge: Finding the best way to help these students attain the skills they need.
Some students may have a very basic knowledge of English, while others have no background at all. Helping each
student at their point of need is critical to helping them advance at a pace that builds confidence and moves
them to grade-level success.
One Northwest student, Martin, an English language learner, fell into the 60 percent of students who could not
read above third grade. Often frustrated and bored, Martin developed an attitude that resulted in disciplinary
referrals. To help move him toward grade-level reading proficiency, Martin was enrolled in a class using LANGUAGE!®
Live, a comprehensive blended learning solution for struggling adolescent students in grades
When Martin began using LANGUAGE! Live, he was in the 10th percentile of his peers
for English language arts. Martin admits he was not a motivated learner, “Before I was in this class, it
was kind of boring to be at school. When I got to this program, I thought it was kind of interesting, which
helped me a lot with my reports.”
After a year in the LANGUAGE! Live program, Martin's progress was so impressive he moved to Tier 2,
which meant he no longer needed to attend summer school to catch up to his peers. In a year’s time, he
went from being an unmotivated, disengaged student to an enthusiastic learner, excited about making progress
and becoming proficient in English.
Carol Loy, principal of Northwest Middle, says “by the eighth grade, that 60 percent number has been
greatly reduced and I have no doubt in my mind, it’s because we implement LANGUAGE! Live with
Martin is one of many English language learners at Northwest Middle School who are meeting, and even, exceeding
their goals. With LANGUAGE! Live, these students are becoming more than English language
learners—they are becoming confident, engaged students who overcome literacy and language barriers to
achieve academic success.
for more information, stories about student success, and helpful resources. Join us this fall as we celebrate
the potential in every student.
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