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After a challenge is identified, one of two things tends to happen: either the challenge grows, or it shrinks. The challenge tends to grow if the solution is unknown and hard to find. Conversely, it tends to shrink if there is a tried-and-true, high-quality solution at the ready. As you know, struggling readers fare best if there’s a clear and effective way to help them move forward. For thousands of schools, that way forward is Read Naturally.

About 5 million public school students in the United States today are English Language Learners (ELLs). National Public Radio (NPR) recently conducted a robust research project entitled 5 Million Voices, which set out to discover who these students are and how our public schools are serving them.

Learning to decode words is a difficult skill in its own right. ELL students have the added challenge of learning this skill in a nonnative language. It goes without saying that these students need lots of extra support. What should this support look like?

The inclusion of our Idioms series in the latest Read Live release is a significant upgrade to the program. Are you wondering why and how to take advantage of this new content? Here’s what you need to know:

Some ELL students learning to read in English may need additional support in the Read Along step of Read Naturally Strategy programs. We've built this extra support into many of our levels for Spanish-speaking ELL students.

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.

I've spent the past five years obsessed with the creation of Funēmics, and I've talked about it quite a bit with my family members, who collectively speak five languages and have lived in six different countries on four continents.

I grew up as an American in Saudi Arabia, and my family was part of a global community called ex-patriots—whatever that means. For us, it meant that when my sister Erica graduated from college, she moved to Florence, Italy; when my brother Patrick fell in love, it was with a Swedish girl in Rome; and when my Dad remarried, it was to a beautiful woman from Ecuador. More conventionally, I found a hockey player from northern Minnesota, but he happened to live in Aschaffenburg, Germany.

Now that I have the floor, I’d like to give my two cents on our Idioms series. Here’s the scoop: In the English language, idioms are a dime a dozen. We’re up to our ears in them! Native speakers are old hand at incorporating idioms into conversation, but ELL students are often behind the eight ball. When they hear these silly expressions, they must think we’re off our rockers. These students are probably tearing their hair out trying to understand what we mean! To make a long story short: Idioms are fun for us, but they’re driving our ELL students up the wall.

Cassie Fothergill, Jeff Stegall, and others used the One Minute Reader books while on a mission trip in Haiti. Here is their story:

We've made some changes at www.readnaturally.com and I’d like to share some of the new pages. If you’re interested in Response to Intervention, Differentiated Instruction, or English Language Learners, you’ll find these resources extremely valuable.

Make Your Student a STAR!

Read Naturally Star of the Month​Share your student’s success story—nominate him or her for our Star of the Month award. Win a Barnes & Noble gift card for the student and a Read Naturally gift certificate for your class!

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