Educators around the country—and around the world—are finding that Read Naturally programs work wonders with ELL students. The audio support, student-friendly vocabulary definitions, and high-interest story topics are just a few of the features that make our programs an ideal fit for this population. We love when ELL students learn to read English fluently with Read Naturally programs—and we love when educators take the time to share this progress.

ELL instructor Kristina Hasanova is one such educator. Kristina brought One Minute Reader materials halfway across the world, to Azerbaijan, and had great success. Here’s what she had to say:

“One Minute Reader fits very well with language acquisition, because the story (along with the picture & title) creates an interesting context from which the learner is gaining understanding by being pulled into the story. As long as they’re comprehending about 80%, they'll understand most new words and phrasing from the context without needing explicit instruction on word meaning.

Listening repeatedly to audio where one understands about 80% of the material is an excellent way to build vocabulary. OMR is perfect for this. ELL students can listen to the passage several times (more than 3, more like 10!), looking up any words they don’t understand and considering the context to gain more understanding each time. Also, this helps to cement the phrasing and way of expressing the story in their minds permanently so that they can repeat the same language structures verbally later on.

Another huge benefit of these stories is that they naturally teach the foundation of Western writing—an introduction, supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion. Because the context I taught in uses circular rather than linear logic, it was very helpful to use the simple stories to explain to adults how the pattern of linear Western organization works in writing. Then, seeing the pattern easily from the stories, they could apply that understanding to more complicated texts.

The comprehension questions also ensure that the students are understanding the English correctly, and reinforce the underlying principles of Western linear organization of a text.”

Kristina may have been one of the first educators to use One Minute Reader in Azerbaijan, but we hope she won’t be the last. Thank you, Kristina, for sharing your story!

Are you using One Minute Reader to develop the skills of your English language learners? We'd love to hear how it’s going. Do you have a Read Naturally success story to share? We’d love to feature you on our blog! Email and use “success story” in the subject line.














Kristina teaching students in Azerbaijan