Online Learning Helps English Language Learners Excel


Amanda Cunningham
Thursday, March 19, 2015 - 11:15am

One of the most significant issues facing public schools in the United States is how to help students who are English Language Learners (ELL)  acquire learning fluency in a language that, until they day they arrived in the United States, they may have never heard.  Today about 10 percent of students in the United States are English Language Learners and they represent the fastest growing segment of the public school population.   By 2025 nearly one out of every four public school students is expected to be an English Language Learner.  In short, the demand for ELL support is already high and will only continue grow.

But, in an education system where classroom time is already stretched thin with curriculum and testing requirements and support services are already in high demand, how can teachers, schools, and districts, ever hope to meet the needs of their ELL students?  In much the same way that we’ve seen the benefits of online learning extended to math and special education support services such as LearnBop and PresenceLearning, online learning programs can also help provide English Language Learners with supplemental content and personalized learning opportunities. 

Middlebury Interactive Languages, in conjunction with Fuel Education, has developed a supplementary curriculum for upper elementary school and middle school students based on proven best practices for language acquisition.  Delivered in a blended environment, the project-based learning program focuses on “academic English” designed to help students increase achievement on state tests as well as improve their overall ability to function in the classroom and in their broader communities.

  Middlebury ELL curriculum

To ensure that students and teachers are able to maximize the impact of their learning and teaching, the Middlebury Interactive Languages program aligns with World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) standards, Common Core, California (ELD) and Texas state standards, as well as the English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21) that is used in 10 states including Louisiana, Oregon, and Washington.

With state and federal funding available for ELL programs, now is the time for schools and districts to begin evaluating options. To learn more about accelerating learning for ELL students, you can download a white paper about the pedagogical approach to developing the new ELL curriculum.


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