Response to Intervention | News

Texas District Adopts Literacy Software To Aid Struggling Students

Midland Independent School District (MISD) of Midland, TX has implemented language and literacy software Imagine Learning English as the cornerstone of its response to intervention (RtI) program to help students struggling to build basic English language skills.

Administrators said they're adopting the program in an effort to help target students improve their basic skills to meet state requirements. They said they anticipate students spending 20 minutes per day using the software, giving each student the individualized guidance and practice he or she needs without adding to teacher workloads or impeding fellow students.

"These students often have large gaps in their academic language and/or vocabulary. The instructional day does not provide for a direct teaching time to address these deficiencies," said Nancy Isaacs, director of special education for MISD. "Imagine Learning English can be used to help build these skills during the students' independent learning time when the teacher is providing instruction to other students."

Imagine Learning English addresses individualized instruction with exercises tailored to each user's needs and internally monitors individual progress, accelerating instruction levels based on the user's rate of progress in each essential skills area: vocabulary, comprehension, fluency, phonics, and phonemic awareness. For each area, the program provides exercises featuring verbal and visual guidance both for comprehension and application to actual reading passages. A white paper giving a step-by-step overview of how the software builds knowledge and comprehension is available here.

Isaacs also noted the unique value of computer-based RtI instruction. "Technology captures the attention of our students and is a positive motivator for them," she explained. "[It] can be used to provide intervention on an individualized basis in a classroom with many students with many individual academic levels."

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Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.