ELL Vocabulary Development

Using VocabularySpellingCity for Successful Vocabulary Development in ELL Students

Lloyd Estates Elementary School, in Oakland Park, Florida is one of 19 Broward County schools that purchased VocabularySpellingCity using Title III funds in 2016. Broward County Public Schools is the sixth-largest public school system in the country.

Shawn Allen, Principal
Lloyd Estates Elementary School
Oakland Park, FL
School demographics:

  • Broward County Public Schools District
  • 641 students, PreK-5th grade
  • 48% are ELL students
  • 94% get free and reduced lunch

How do your teachers like using VocabularySpellingCity?
They like the program very much. Since we have a large ESOL population, our school-wide focus is on increasing vocabulary development. VocabularySpellingCity has helped support this initiative with its specific vocabulary activities. Some VocabularySpellingCity features the teachers find especially helpful:

  • They like that it is aligned to the Journeys reading program.
  • VocabularySpellingCity’s online tests have replaced testing the old-fashioned way.
  • Students can complete spelling tests in centers.
  • Cross-curricular word lists in Science and Math.
  • Kindergarten teachers love easy access to the Dolch and sight words.

How have your students enjoyed using the program?
Here’s what our 3rd graders say:

  • “VocabularySpellingCity is good for me because it is making me a better speller and reader. I love the games and the fact that you can download the app and use it at home.” – Tyler, Grade 3
  • “I love VocabularySpellingCity because it teaches me new words and tells me how to sound words out correctly. I think this program is pretty awesome!” – Tamyra, Grade 3
  • “This is one of the best programs I have ever played! VocabularySpellingCity helps me read a lot better. I love it because it’s fun and it helps me learn words I don’t know.” – Emily, Grade 3

How is it implemented at your school? Whole group? Independent student usage? Small groups/centers?
There is a combo-type usage with whole group, teacher-led and independent classroom/homework usage. VocabularySpellingCity is being used primarily with the 3rd-5th grade students. Also, we are a “Digital 5 school,” where all 5th grade students are assigned a digital device. Our early elementary teachers use the program sporadically in their classrooms, as they do not have up-to-date technology.

Next school year will be different, as we are purchasing computers and iPads for the early elementary classrooms.

What have been the key benefits to using the VocabularySpellingCity program?
Our test data constantly reflects that vocabulary is an area for improvement at my school. In an effort to increase vocabulary development and improve spelling skills, we are using VocabularySpellingCity in addition to a schoolwide vocabulary initiative. I feel that VocabularySpellingCity helps to provide additional support and practice for our students in a fun fashion.

Will you renew the VocabularySpellingCity program for next school year?
Yes! My teachers have found it to be a valuable resource.

Read more about tools to help ELL students develop word proficiency.