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Software Technology Helping English-Language Learners

May 22, 2008
It's a face of America that shows no slow down -- new immigrants finding new lives in the states are bringing children who face the learning curve of both, getting through regular educational material, and learning a second language. And it's not something that simply effecting big city metros either, immigrant populations are spreading throughout Middle America, into its small towns and local districts.

This new swath of Americans creates a big obstacle for educators in the classroom and for parents at home teaching these new English-language learners. There are basically two fronts -- the new students need to learn how to speak English and they need to learn how to read. The advantage of this is that software plays a great role by introducing both at the same time. Technology provides a tool that can be used at school and at home with learning software.

What Software Can Facilitate in English Instruction

Software has the capacity as a multi-media tool that gives both visual and audio instruction. So that means that you can show how English in constructed in speaking and how speaking is arranged through English words and letters. As an example, instruction software can play an interactive animation where labels and simple English are used. Names of family members can be introduced with their talking image and spelled out name where the English-language learner can be asked to choose in order who the mother is, or who the brother is etc and so on. It's the synergized coupling of spoken words with the written word meaning that makes a lesson like this so powerful.

On the instructors end, software provides an easy way to gather metrics on student's scores, where their strong point lie, where they need help while showing how they progress is in the usual class subjects. And often the usual elementary subjects can be taught simultaneously teaching English.

The computer, in all its wonderment, still cannot take everything away that books have to offer. But the combining of a core reading program and computer software gives an extra shot of enlightenment for English-language learners since many books can come with a supplemental media to quiz and challenge the new reader. It often comes as a CD or DVD to run on a drive.
Since teachers need to double their efforts to teach both their usual subject and their English learning students, the software platform will also provide a time to have the teacher work on those who are at a higher level of English speaking.
About the Author
Scholastic (http://www.teacher.scholastic.com/products/zipzoom/) has a powerful program for
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