Schools Face Shortage of Digital Curricula for English-Learners
Facing a shortage of digital curricula for ELLs, educators often turn to general content
By Michelle R. Davis
May 20, 2013
Because there's not a plethora of digital curricula designed exclusively for English-language learners, teachers often rely on digital curricula used for all students that help individualize lessons, as well as software programs tailored for English language learners, said C. Patrick Proctor, an associate professor of literacy and bilingualism at Boston College. But today's digital offerings make both varieties useful, he says.
In 2011, Mr. Proctor, along with several other researchers, published the results of a study that used digital curricula designed specifically for ELL students. In a project dubbed Improving Comprehension Online, or ICON, researchers created multimedia folktales and informational texts that included clickable words with definitions in English or Spanish, along with images for students whose English proficiency was very low. The text contained built-in audio, so that students could hear it in English or in Spanish, as well as embedded activities for reflection in both languages.
The researchers followed 5th graders working with the curricula and found a measurable increase in vocabulary knowledge and text comprehension, said Bridget Dalton, an associate professor in literacy studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, who also worked on the project.
Read on to find out what features to look for in digital curricula that English learners may use: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/05/22/32el-ell.h32.html?tkn=XYCCoEdaQ3rQAmlEkZIKT1r4GMU%2FDagWrjxs&cmp=clp-sb-ascd