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Closing the Achievement Gap for English Learners

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New findings from the National Center for Education Statistics show that the gap between Hispanic English learners and their white classmates remains as wide today as it was in the 1990s. In other words, the English learner achievement gap hasn't narrowed much in the last 20 years. But solving this problem isn’t about identifying what went wrong. Instead, it’s about discovering what we can do right. “We can say, ‘Well, we tried and we failed, so let’s not try anymore,’ or we can look at the data and say, ‘If 20 to 25 percent of your school system’s kids are not doing well, we need to do something urgent,’” said Raul Gonzalez, director of legislative affairs for the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic-advocacy organization. So what should that something urgent be?

Closing the Achievement Gap for English Learners

New findings from the National Center for Education Statistics show that the gap between English learners and their English-speaking classmates remains as wide today as it was in the 1990s.

In other words:

The English learner achievement gap hasn't narrowed much in the last 20 years.

But solving this problem isn’t about identifying what went wrong. Instead, it’s about discovering what we can do right. “We can say, ‘Well, we tried and we failed, so let’s not try anymore,’ or we can look at the data and say, ‘If 20 to 25 percent of your school system’s kids are not doing well, we need to do something urgent,’” said Raul Gonzalez, director of legislative affairs for the National Council of La Raza.

So what should that something urgent be?

Research shows that one of the most effective ways to help English learners improve their reading, vocabulary, and speaking is to use technology — like interactive software programs. In schools across the country, Imagine Language & Literacy is already helping English learners pull away from the pack and start making real gains in language and literacy development.

First-Language Support

By providing support in students’ first languages, Imagine Language & Literacy helps English learners master vocabulary and develop literacy more quickly.

Our first-language support feature translates instruction, vocabulary, and feedback as needed; the translation fades as students become more proficient in English. With support available in 15 first languages, Imagine Language & Literacy helps English learners from all over the world speed up their language acquisition.

Academic Vocabulary Instruction

Research tells us that English learners must develop academic vocabulary in order to succeed in future grades. Imagine Language & Literacy introduces students to both basic and academic vocabulary, including valuable cross-curricular words common to social studies, science, and math.

By preparing students to learn in all content areas, Imagine Language & Literacy ensures success for future grades and classes.

Adaptive Instruction With Custom-Fit Feedback

Our TrueAssess™ placement test automatically places students at their ideal starting point in our literacy curriculum, so students see only content that best addresses their individual knowledge gaps and learning needs. Through sequenced instruction and customized feedback, English learners receive targeted instruction that drives real progress.

Ongoing Assessment

We’ve built assessment right into the program so teachers, parents, and students can track progress and celebrate successes. Our comprehensive reports for both teachers and parents help adults know where students need more help.

Printouts even include an easy-to-read list of unmastered concepts and vocabulary, and students can see the progress they’ve made in both on-screen and printable reports.

Read More: 6 Tips for Teaching in a Diverse Classroom

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