English Language Learners

Supporting English Language Learners

Most English Language Learners (ELL)  face the difficult tasks of learning to read English, learning to speak it, and learning about a new culture. Because of these challenges, ELL students need additional support in three areas while learning to read English fluently: English language skills, vocabulary, and general background knowledge. Read Naturally Strategy programs are well-suited to provide this extra support. 

Many English Language Learners express frustration with the many unfamiliar phonemes in English.  But when English language learners receive "explicit phonemic awareness instruction, they are able to catch up with native speakers' progress on word identification and spelling" (as cited in Antonacci & O'Callaghan, 2012, p. 2). 

ELL Strategies in Read Naturally Programs 

Read Naturally Intervention Program Descriptions
English Language Skills
General Background Knowledge
Audio Support
Repeated Readings
Explicit Phonics
Definitions With
Audio Support
Spanish Translations
Nonfiction Stories
U.S. Culture and
Read Naturally Live Web-based series: Sequenced, Phonics, Idioms, Español (Spanish)
Read Naturally Encore II Print materials: Sequenced, Phonics, Idioms, Español (Spanish) series
Word Warm-ups Live Explicit phonics and word analysis        
One Minute Reader (Web app | Books with audio) Independent Reading Practice      
Read Naturally GATE Teacher-led explicit phonics        
Take Aim at Vocabulary Academic vocabulary    

How Read Naturally Programs Support ELL Students

Read Naturally programs support ELL students in acquiring English language skills through the use of the audio built into every lesson. Students listen to and read along as a native speaker reads each story with correct pronunciation and inflection. The rate of the audio is appropriately paced according to the reading level of the student to provide the scaffolding needed to internalize pronunciation and inflection. Reading the story or word lists aloud multiple times provides the practice students need to improve their oral language skills.

Easy access to the meanings of many words in each Read Naturally story provides ELL students with the word knowledge necessary to understand the story while also building their English vocabulary. 

  • Most lessons begin with the definitions of several words key to the understanding of the story. 
  • Definitions are available for many words in each story. 
  • Some of the nonfiction stories are an in-depth description of a word. For example, the story Pioneers defines the word and provides the cultural connection to the United States.
  • Each story has at least one question that focuses on the meanings of words.
  • Many stories have Spanish translations available to use as a resource.
  • Read Naturally--Español is the Spanish language version of Read Naturally Live and develops the literacy skills of multilingual readers.

ELL students gain general background knowledge by reading the Read Naturally stories and practicing word lists. All Read Naturally stories are nonfiction and provide information on a wide range of topics.  Some stories discuss American manners and customs, and others define idioms.

Learn More About These Read Naturally Intervention Programs

Read Naturally Live logo Read Naturally® Live
Individualized reading intervention program using web-based software with Spanish translations for stories in early Sequenced levels. Read Naturally Live—Español is a Spanish-language version of Read Naturally Live that helps native Spanish speakers develop literacy skills and fluency in Spanish. 
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Read Naturally Encore logo Read Naturally® Encore
Individualized reading intervention program using printed stories and audio CDs with Spanish audio for stories in early Sequenced levels. An Español series is a complete translation of the Sequenced series that may be used with Spanish-speaking students who are learning English.
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One Minute Reader Live logo One Minute Reader® Live
A component of web-based Read Live for supplemental, independent reading.
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One Minute Reader logo One Minute Reader® Books/Audio CDs
Printed books with audio support on CDs for supplemental, independent reading.​
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Read Naturally® GATE
Small-group instruction to teach phonemic awareness, phonics, high-frequency words, and fluency
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Take Aim! at Vocabulary
Small-group/individual instruction to teach vocabulary using high-quality words and nonfiction text
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Funemics logo Funēmics
Small-group instruction to teach phonemic awareness using scripted curriculum and interactive exercises. 
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