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Meeting the Needs of Secondary Newcomer ELLs Through A Rigorous Curriculum

A guest post  Teresa Vignaroli, ELL Supervisor, Loudoun County Public Schools, Virginia; Julie Baye, ELL School Improvement and Accountability Specialist, Loudoun County Public Schools, Virginia; Giuliana Jahnsen Lewis, ELL Staff Development Trainer, Loudoun County Public Schools, Virginia Imagine Learning now publishes monthly guest posts in order to stimulate conversations about K12 education across the country. Opinions expressed herein are those of the individual author(s) and may not necessarily reflect the official opinion of Imagine Learning.   Like many other districts in the nation, Loudoun County Public Schools has experienced an influx of older English Language Learners (ELLs). Currently, nearly twenty-seven percent of our high school ELLs are proficiency level 1 students; forty-five percent are combined proficiency levels 1 and 2 students. These students bring a myriad of situations and challenges that include varying ethnic backgrounds, low socioeconomic status, differing levels of formal education, and special needs status. The varying language learner types and their unique needs indicate that there is no one-size-fits-all service delivery model nor one intervention that addresses, in its entirety, the best practices in service delivery models for high school ELLs. Research, however, indicates that ELLs must have access to standards-aligned curriculum that is rigorous and grade-level appropriate.
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Imagine Learning supports students with disabilities

Using four exemplary practices that support cognitive growth, Imagine Learning English is a great way to help students with disabilities expand basic and academic vocabulary, increase reading grade levels, and master literacy and vocabulary. Screen and monitor student progress. Identify students' instructional needs and regularly monitor their progress. Elaborate on and model instructional tasks. Present tasks explicitly and systematically, so students are more able to perform and understand task parameters. Differentiate instruction based on assessments and ongoing monitoring. Deliver intensive daily instruction. More time and more intensity is required when instructing students with disabilities--the amount of time spent on learning tasks is the single best indicator of academic gains.
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