Learning to decode words is a difficult skill in its own right. English Language Learners 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? This recent Education Week article* gives a nice overview of how our schools can best meet the needs of ELLs. The article elaborates on different types of ELL instruction, cites studies on what’s effective, and offers recommendations for giving high-quality support.

Read Naturally is committed to providing this type of support for all ELLs. Our programs incorporate all the best practices listed in the article, which are backed by a robust body of research.

Specifically, the article highlights the following practices based on evidence from the Institute of Education Sciences:

  • Teach a set of academic vocabulary words intensively, over several days and a variety of activities.teacher and student at computer
  • Integrate instruction in spoken and written English into content-area teaching.
  • Provide ongoing, structured chances to develop writing skills.
  • Provide small-group interventions for students struggling with specific problems in literacy or language development.

Read Naturally programs address each of these recommendations.

  • Our programs teach academic vocabulary through various activities. Students working in Read Naturally Strategy programs learn key words before reading each story. While practicing the story, they have the ability to look up or click on difficult vocabulary words for level-appropriate, student-friendly definitions and example sentences. The comprehension questions for each story test knowledge of vocabulary words in context. In addition, our Take Aim at Vocabulary and Splat-o-Nym programs offer a more intense focus on vocabulary for students who need extra resources.
  • Our programs integrate instruction into content-area teaching by featuring high-interest, nonfiction stories on relevant topics in science, social studies, the arts, and popular culture.
  • Our programs provide ongoing, structured chances to develop writing skills by requiring students to write predictions, retellings, and short-answer questions before passing a story.
  • Finally, our programs are designed for students struggling with literacy or language development. They are research-proven intervention programs that allow students to achieve reading fluency as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Because ELLs have unique needs, we also offer series designed specifically for this population. Our American Manners & Customs series teaches customs and behaviors unique to the United States, and our Idioms series teaches common American idioms. Both programs use the Read Naturally Strategy and offer extra audio and vocabulary support for ELLs.

Our most popular program, Read Naturally Live, is especially beneficial for ELLs. Read Naturally Live incorporates the Idioms series into its level offerings, and also includes Spanish translations of certain levels.

And for the youngest of learners, our pre-grapheme Funēmics® program has special benefits for ELLs, which you can read about here.

Read Naturally offers a vast array of solutions for English Language Learners. We would love to partner with you to help these students become fluent, confident readers of English. For more detailed information on how Read Naturally programs support ELLs, please visit our website or give us a call.

*Note that Education Week articles are accessed on a tiered subscription model. Non-subscribers can enjoy three free articles per month.