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Midland ISD partners with Imagine Learning

Imagine Learning English was chosen and approved May 10 to help Texas English learners in Midland Independent School District. Because Kindergartners through second graders have not been performing well on the TAKS and other standardized tests, they will begin the program this fall to help boost their comprehension, speaking, and reading skills. To read more about the steps that led up to this important decision, click here. To learn how Imagine Learning English can help improve test scores in your district, click here.
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First-language instruction: Friend or foe?

The United States has always been a melting pot of cultures and languages, but what is considered an appropriate response to this diversity continually changes. How can we accept and embrace diversity while at the same time help English learners become part of a unified society? In his article from the summer 2008 American Educator, Claude Goldenberg finds a balance on how to welcome students’ linguistic diversity while integrating them into an English-only system.
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Hitting high notes with English learners

Have you ever noticed how the perfect song can make a bad day good or a good day great? It’s funny how powerful music can be when it comes to giving us a boost of energy or helping us relax. But the power of music goes deeper than energizing or setting a mood.  Music has been proven to have incredible benefits as a teaching tool, especially for struggling students.
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10 ways to bolster your struggling readers' self-esteem

Imagine going to work every day feeling that you were not capable of doing your job. If you struggled with the basic tasks you were asked to complete, if you couldn’t meet the goals and expectations of your boss, and if you felt less adequate than your coworkers, would you want to keep going? It is common for struggling readers to feel that they are failing at their “job” as students. Learning to read is key to being successful at that job, so when students struggle in this area, they can easily become discouraged, overwhelmed, and frustrated. Such feelings not only affect their peer relationships and academic success, but their image of self-worth as well. How can you tell if a student is struggling with low self-esteem?   
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Pre-K secrets for success

Pre-K achievement in some Miami-Dade County Public Schools has increased by more than forty points, and several previously struggling students have progressed into gifted classes. To what are teachers attributing this great success? Watch this video to find out. [flv]http://sas-origin.OnstreamMedia.com/origin/imaginelearn/Testimonial/Pre-K story.flv[/flv] To see similar results in your early childhood education program, click here.
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15 ways to motivate struggling students this summer

The progress your struggling readers have made this year can be far too easily undone in one summer spent in front of the television. A few days ago, we posted some ideas for helping parents successfully teach reading at home, adapted from a 2003 article by Linda Baker. What Baker’s research also noted, aside from the importance of teaching reading at home, is the importance of motivating struggling readers to read at home. If students are motivated to read, they're likely to keep reading and progressing on their own. But without the extrinsic motivators your classroom provides—things like recognition, grades, and competition—your readers might do significantly less reading (and make significantly less progress) over the summer break. Luckily, your students will have access to another powerful motivator: their parents.
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5 tips to get your preschoolers speaking

You don't realize how quickly children pick up on language until you hear your Kindergartners reciting the latest pop lyrics on the playground. While students in early childhood education may be excellent at mimicry, they still need help developing their vocabulary. According to Theresa Roberts's new book No Limits to Literacy, children must be aware of two components of a word before they can use it correctly: meaning and pronunciation. Without knowing both the meaning and pronunciation of a word, children (and adults alike) are powerless to use new vocabulary successfully. So we've pulled together five tips from Roberts's book to help your early childhood education students expand -- and actually use -- their new vocabulary.
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New vocabulary approach helps young English learners race ahead

In a recent study in the Elementary School Journal, one researcher asked if the right kind of vocabulary instruction could be equally as effective for English learners as it is for native English speakers. Her study shows a surprising result: English learners actually acquired vocabulary more quickly than their classmates did. The study, conducted by Rebecca Deffes Silverman while at Harvard University, shows that the right type of vocabulary instruction makes a big difference for early childhood education students. According to previous studies, vocabulary is not only “the primary determinant of future reading comprehension,” but also the “single most encountered obstacle” for English learners. But that didn’t deter any English learners in the five Kindergarten classes that Silverman studied.
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From teacher to parent

Sending your child to school for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience. For Yanel Morales it was no exception. Like all mothers, she wanted her daughter to leave Kindergarten knowing how to read. But unlike most mothers, Yanel had some insider information to give her confidence. Her daughter Megan would be attending the same school where Yanel taught, using the same successful program Yanel's students used.
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Why even fluent students struggle with comprehension

In a recent article published in Science Magazine, Harvard researcher Catherine Snow discussed a growing problem in our schools: the lack of academic vocabulary instruction. Many fluent readers, and especially struggling readers, have a difficult time understanding texts in science, math, and social studies because the terminology is so foreign. This disconnect hits hardest in junior high and high school, when the texts become more complex and vocabulary instruction becomes less prevalent. So what can be done?
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