How Can Readability Support English Language Learning Program Students?

May 19, 2023

English Language Learning Program

Children who use English language learning programs or participate in English as a Second Language (ELL) programs receive educational support to help them gain fluency in English. However, since these students are not proficient in speaking English, they also might struggle with reading books that are not translated in their native language.

While the Readability program isn’t designed as a formal ELL program, it can be used by educators to provide additional reading support for students who are gaining fluency in the English language. How can Readability support English language learning program students? There are five ways that Readability can provide guided reading support to ELL students:

  1. Appropriately-leveled materials
  2. 24/7 tutoring
  3. Vocabulary review resources
  4. Comprehension assessments
  5. Narrated features

ELL Students Need Access to Appropriately-Leveled Materials

Since ELL students are working to gain fluency in English, they can struggle to discern the meaning of words and also have difficulty with pronunciation or decoding. These struggles can lead to the student reading at a lower level than what is considered proficient for their age or grade.

Reading programs need to meet ELL students at their level and lessons should only become harder when the student demonstrates mastery of both reading fluency and reading comprehension. Readability recommends that children begin the program one reading level below their demonstrated level; this strategy helps students feel more confident.

At each reading level, students have access to a library filled with fiction and nonfiction titles. In addition, these books are written to the child’s interest level to ensure that they remain engaged and immersed in lessons. Readability’s materials are considered high/low books; this means they are high-interest books written at a lower reading level.

When students master comprehension and decoding at their current level, they will move on to the next reading level in the program. However, every child advances at their pace.

English Language Learning Program

Readability Provides a 24/7 Reading Tutor

When English isn’t a student’s first language, they might require additional support with their reading journey to help them gain proficiency. While teachers don’t always have time to provide one-on-one support for each child, Readability is designed to provide consistent support.

Readability features a built-in AI tutor that is programmed with voice-recognition software. Students read books and stories aloud in the program, and this is how the tutor learns the child’s voice and their unique vocal inflections. The tutor understands if a child is struggling to pronounce a word and will provide help and guidance. The tutor also offers feedback and encouragement just like an in-person instructor.

As the child reads, the tutor measures data. The tutor assesses the child’s fluency (measured in words read per minute) and, at the end of each book/story, the tutor also leads the reading comprehension quiz that tests the child’s knowledge about the story.

When using Readability, children always have their virtual tutor to guide them and provide them with feedback.

Vocabulary Review Resources Provide Additional Support

Learning a second language requires children to understand the meaning of every word they read. While most words are shared in many languages, some are unique to a particular language.

Vocabulary mastery is essential for a child to gain reading proficiency, and Readability provides resources to help children master new words they might discover as they read. Every book in Readability’s library includes a vocabulary list of words that children can review. In addition, students can tap or click any word in the story to hear the word’s definition or listen to the word used in a sentence.

Every vocabulary word including the words children discovered in the story are included in the child’s comprehensive vocabulary list. Children have access to this list at any time, and they can listen to words again and again to facilitate mastery.

English Language Learning Program

Comprehension Assessments Gauge a Child’s Knowledge

A student might easily decode words and appear to read fluently. However, they might be unable to answer questions about the story and have difficulty retelling the story. When a child struggles with reading comprehension, parents and teachers might use different strategies to help them to think about details as they read.

Readability guides children who struggle with this reading skill. At the end of each story, the reading tutor asks the child questions about what they read. This reading quiz helps the program assess the child’s comprehension mastery.

However, answering a question incorrectly does not mean that the error counts against the child. Instead, the reading tutor shows the child a section from the book that provides clues that help them correctly answer the question. The tutor also reads this section aloud, and the child receives another opportunity to answer the question.

This method teaches the child that rereading sections of a book or story can improve comprehension. Children who struggle to understand the plot of a story or the actions of characters can benefit from reviewing the material. Readability is designed to help empower children and teaches them how to grow their reading confidence.  

Listening to a Story Can Help Children Improve Their Comprehension

Children who are learning a new language can benefit from listening to a book or story. Hearing a book read aloud can help children understand the pronunciation of words, identify the emotions of characters and even help them pick up details they might miss when reading independently.

Readability provides a feature called Storytime that lets children listen to their favorite Readability stories while following along in the book. Teachers can encourage ELL students to use this feature if they struggle with pronunciation or need additional comprehension support. Storytime is accessible from anywhere (with wifi); children can listen to stories at home, in the car or even on vacation.

How Teachers Can Gauge Progress and Mastery

Readability includes a private portal accessible only to teachers that shows reading data for each student. This portal enables teachers to better understand each child’s reading growth and progress. Teachers also can determine areas where a child continues to struggle.

The portal includes data related to a student’s reading fluency (measured in words read per minute), comprehension mastery, and reading level; it also shows how long each student used the program. Some teachers require students to read a specific number of minutes at home; teachers can see which students are using the program at home and which students are not reading.

Readability Can Be Used with Other Programs, Too

Many school districts use a program called Accelerated Reader (AR) that requires children to complete comprehension quizzes for books they read at home or in class. Readability’s books are included among the quizzes offered through AR. When students earn a certain score on their quiz, they receive points through AR. Teachers might offer prizes when students accrue a specific number of AR points.

Children who use Readability can take an AR quiz on the books they read through the program. This ensures that every minute that a child reads on Readability is valuable to their classroom experience.

Teachers or school districts interested in exploring Readability to use in their classroom or to help support ELL students can explore the program for free. Sign up for a free seven-day trial to preview the program and learn how Readability can help guide the reading journey for struggling readers.