With the continued support of federal funding, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) legislation has had significant implications for English Language Learners (ELL). States now have to establish an entrance and exit plan to move ELL students into the general education population.

Vocabulary is the cornerstone to establishing such plan. ELLs need exposure to both academic and social vocabulary to build word knowledge. Other considerations for ELL vocabulary instruction include:

  • An increase of multiple exposures to words
  • A safe environment to practice where they won’t be judged
  • Opportunities to hear, read, speak, write and play with words
  • Corrective feedback while learning
  • Engaging games and learning activities

Even the best teacher may struggle with providing an effective vocabulary instructional cycle for their ELL students. Enter, VocabularySpellingCity.

As a productivity tool, VocabularySpellingCity allows teachers to assign various word lists featuring basic classroom vocabulary (seat, group, lunch, recess) as well as subject area vocabulary from literature, math, science or social studies lesson. ELL students can learn, review, and revisit any word lists the teacher makes visible. Word lists are paired with VocabularySpellingCity’s over 40 learning games and activities to provide students with engaging and effective word practice. During the learning process, ELL students receive corrective feedback to keep them on the right track. VocabularySpellingCity is that safe place for students to hear, read, speak, write, and play with words as many times as they need.

ESSA funding requires products to be evidence-based. A recent McREL study found that with only 10 minutes of daily practice on VoabularySpellingCity, intermediate ELL students saw a 46.5% increase in reading comprehension. McREL is currently seeking funding to continue the study during the 2019-2020 school year.

Helping ELL Students in the ESSA Era

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