Arizona Board of Ed to Pilot English Language Learning Software
The Arizona Department of Education (ADE), in cooperation with the Arizona State Board of Education,
has launched a two-year pilot program of a technology-based language
development and literacy intervention program for English language
learners (ELLs) in kindergarten through grade 6.
70,000 K-12 students in the state are English language learners,
according to a news release. In 2015, only 2 percent of English
language learners passed the language arts section of the AzMERIT statewide achievement test, and only 6 percent passed the math section.
Arizona Department of Education and Arizona State Board of Education
conducted a competitive bidding and review process before selecting Build English Fast from Scientific Learning Corp.
"Build English Fast met all of the requirements for our pilot program,
including providing individualized, adaptive instruction in the five
strands of literacy; integrated assessment; and alignment with
Arizona's academic and English language proficiency standards," said
Kelly Koenig, deputy associate superintendent with the ADE Office of
English Language Acquisition Services, in a news release.
Build English Fast has two components, including the Fast ForWord reading remediation program and the Reading Assistant digital reading tutor that uses speech recognition technology to listen
to and support English language learners as they read aloud. According
to the company, Build English Fast "addresses three critical steps for
English language proficiency. First, it prepares the brain to "hear"
the sounds of English. Second, it provides individualized, intensive
practice in English vocabulary, grammar and reading skills. Third, it
uses advanced speech recognition technology to give students the
opportunity to practice speaking and reading aloud, while receiving
real-time corrective feedback."
Teacher training for the two-year
pilot program will begin in August 2016, and in the fall 4,000 English
language learners in kindergarten through grade 6 will begin using
Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].