Take a moment and consider what your world would be like without the ability to read. Imagine doing simple tasks, such as, following a recipe, reading a magazine, or even paying a bill. Daily tasks that we take for granted become a virtual impossibility. What else would be rendered? Your health? Your safety? Imagine a life where warning signs, medicine labels, and safety guidelines simply become obsolete because we can’t read them.
It is nearly impossible to not take reading for granted. It just comes so naturally to those of us who have mastered the skill. Our worlds are inundated with print and we read at a glance without ever giving the act a single thought. Most would consider reading an absolute necessity in life. However, for many, the reality is that they simply cannot read. According to the last survey completed by National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL), there are approximately 11 million adults identified as illiterate in the US.
Now, let’s go a step further: try to picture your life in a foreign world. A world where you are unable to read in your native language, and you now find yourself surrounded by a language in which you are not familiar. Not only can you not read the words that surround you, but you cannot even understand their meaning when they are read aloud to you. How incredibly frustrating would your world become? Unfortunately, this is a daily challenge for learners identified as English Language Learners (ELLs). 10% of the total US K-12 enrollment is made up of students that fall in this exact category. Adding even more challenge, these students are held to the same standards as their English speaking peers and must master state assessments at the Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP) level. It takes an average of 5-7 years to acquire this level of language.
Reading is incredibly important for all aspects of life: from the obvious of school, college, and career to the not so obvious of simply functioning in “day to day” life. From an academic perception, students must learn to read first, so that they can then…read to learn.
The vision for Edmentum’s Reading Suite is to provide reading solutions with proven results that will meet the needs of all literacy learners regardless of age, grade, or academic level. The Reading Suite will support all literacy needs from emergent and struggling readers to ELL, SPED, and RTI, as well as supporting the Common Core standards.
Learn to Read: Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress continue to engage young students around the world with its interactive lessons and exciting rewards. But how can we make learning to read even more fun? We can make it mobile! This fall, young learners will have the capacity and flexibility to access and utilize the Reading Eggs program through the use of the handheld technology in which they have become accustomed. Unlike the current desktop design, the new tablet version of Reading Eggs will give students the ability to use the gestures and functionality that only a mobile platform can provide. It will be easy to use and allow for a more flexible, accessible, engaging, and portable product.
English Language Learning: Here at Edmentum, we are also committed to supporting the growing needs of ELLs. ESL ReadingSmart provides an innovative way of introducing the English language while incorporating all four modalities of language learning: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Multi-cultural, multi-genre reading levels support Common Core and state standards and include colorful, interactive activities to keep students engaged. ESL ReadingSmart is designed to accelerate English language development through the use of a comprehensive sequence of learning and integrated tools that support ELL needs. We will continue to update our content to ensure learners’ overall academic success. For more information on strategies to support Ells, check out Shari’s blog “What does Common Core mean for English Language Learners?”