7 of Best Learning Apps for ELL Students
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Students who are not proficient in English are referred to as English language learners (ELLs). There are more than 5 million ELL students currently enrolled in American schools. That’s more than 10% of the total school enrollment. Most ELL students reside in the states of Texas, California, New York, and Florida. Most of these students speak Spanish.
Surprisingly, nearly two-thirds of all ELL students were born and raised in the United States, while the other third are recent immigrants. In 2017, 24% of 5- to 17-year-olds in the United States spoke a language other than the English language at home. This situation creates a significant disadvantage for these students at school. Far too often, ELL students drop out of school.
The use of different approaches to teaching English demonstrates that educators do not agree about which method is most effective to address the needs of both the language learner and the school. Regardless of the teacher’s personal ideology about an official national language, teachers must be aware that it is not the learner’s goal, and should not be the school’s goal, to replace the native tongue with English.
As a result of the Lau v. Nichols case in 1974, the U.S. Office of Civil Rights created a series of guidelines for schools to follow with respect to linguistic diversity. The “Lau Remedies,” as they were called, required that all ELL students should be taught core academic subjects in their home language until their proficiency in English allowed them to benefit from instruction in English fully.
Thanks to the edtech explosion, there are plenty of apps that help non-English speakers learn both English and their required academic subject matter. In this article, we will list the best of them.
- English Listening and Speaking: Helps ELL students to learn English by giving them engaging stories and transcripts, along with exciting games. It can also provide students with the correct pronunciation of the text that they are reading.
- Busuu: An interesting and straightforward app, it helps students learn languages, including English. The app is supported by its 60 million users. Busuu is interactive and provides personalized instruction.
- Lingual.ly: Students learn a new language simply by playing games. It comes with a dictionary that you can access on the go.
- English LaunchPad: Allows teachers to monitor their students’ progress, and assess individual or group progress. Students can practice exercises and receive live help if they need it.
- Culips ESL Podcast: Provides students with podcasts on various tops, from language acquisition to general issues. The podcast can be delivered in whatever language you desire.
- SpeakingPal English Tutor: With this interactive app, students can practice or dialog with a virtual character. It contains hundreds of modules. It also has speech and severallanguage recognition and gives instant feedback to the user.
- Voxy: This app offers personalized language instruction. Students practice English with native speakers or through a series of games.
I hope this brief guide to bilingual education apps has helped you understand what edtech has to offer our non-native English speaking children in this country. Which app, if any, do you think works best for a student’s English fluency and academic performance? Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts.