Resources for Teaching Academic Language and ELLs
Defining the Problem
- Read the Joan Ganz Cooney Center report that discusses how a lack of academic language is the leading cause of the 4th grade reading slump. In fact, “book words” known at kindergarten are the #1 predictor of academic success.
- View the latest NAEP reading scale scores. This standardized national test has four levels: below basic, basic, proficient, and advanced. Only 8% of ELLs achieved the proficient level for academic reading in 4th grade and only 4% in 8th grade in 2015, the most recent data available as of this writing. In fact, roughly 7 in 10 ELLs are below basic reading in 4th and 8th grades. The picture for GenEd students is also challenging: 64% of all 4th graders and 66% of all 8th graders scored below proficient.
- For those of you who teach ELLs or care about the issue, the NEA put together a guide to advocating for ELL students.
- The Speak Agent team put together these infographics to help highlight the issue:
Teaching Academic Vocabulary
- Read this best practices study from the What Works Clearinghouse looking at various teaching methods and evaluating which are proven to work. Key findings: (1) authentic learning content is king and (2) deep-dives with a variety of activities and learning modalities over several days works! This is why Speak Agent customizes to fit your daily practice and lesson plans and supports deep, multimodal learning.
- Check out the ELL Starter Kit for teachers kindly provided by Colorín Colorado.
- Visit the Speak Agent research page for an overview what our Academic Language Learning Model.
ELLs in Charter Schools
- View the NAPCS toolkit for charter schools serving ELLs.
- Learn the latest facts about ELLs in charter schools from the Office of English Language Acquisition.
- Learn about how Speak Agent accommodates students with disabilities and special needs on our accessibility page.