Literacy Solutions

Achieve Language

Achieve Language: enhanced instruction to accelerate ELL success.

As our schools fill with English language learners, teachers are working hard every day to span the proficiency gap between non-ELLs and ELLs. But as hard as they are working, they need to go even farther given the Common Core's "One Goal. One Bar" mandate.

Achieve Language provides the extra support English language learners need to "do double the work" — to become proficient in English (language knowledge) and to meet end-of-course and graduation requirements (content area knowledge).

Achieve Language also gives teachers extra-strength support and the much-needed reach to provide effective and individualized instruction in their increasingly diverse classrooms. Importantly, through Lexile- and language-based differentiation, native English students and English language learners all receive the same daily articles and assignments — so all students can learn together and so the teacher's reach is further extended.

While using the same core approach as Achieve's non-ELL solutions, Achieve Language leverages a decade of experience in providing effective ELL literacy solutions by focusing on:

  • Integrating all four language arts: reading, writing, listening and speaking
  • Teaching reading strategies
  • Focusing on vocabulary development
  • Building and activating background knowledge
  • Teaching language through content and themes
Using native language to teach literacy.

Achieve Language uses native language flexibly and strategically to spur literacy and content proficiency, while also supporting each district's specific requirements for native language use.

  • English Immersion. In this full-English program, students take the LevelSet™ online assessment in English and receive daily content in English

  • ESL. In this program, students also take the LevelSet assessment in English and receive daily content in English. However, native language supports help drive English language acquisition

  • Bilingual. In this version of Achieve Language, students take LevelSet in Spanish and receive content at their Spanish reading level. Content is delivered in both English and Spanish

  • Dual Language. Students in this case take LevelSet in both Spanish and English, and content is delivered in Spanish and English as well. Thus, students can login to a single account, but can toggle back and forth between English and Spanish as necessary

Using the Achieve 5-Step Literacy Routine — specially tailored to ELL.

Through the routine, Achieve Language is able to effectively integrate language skills, activate background knowledge, focus on vocabulary and explicitly teach reading strategies. It is the ideal vehicle for students to communicate — in writing and when speaking — with other students in the classroom.

  1. Email. Bring students' background into the classroom as they make connections to the topic of the day

  2. Article. Students derive information from non-fiction articles differentiated to their level. Repeated exposure to grade-level text complexity and vocabulary, and embedded strategy support for the reading, enables all students to participate in classroom discussions

  3. Activity. Students complete a set of activity questions to demonstrate close reading of text by responding to literal and analytical items

  4. Poll. Students express their opinions around real-world events. Teachers facilitate discussion and debates, having students apply content and language knowledge

  5. Thought Question. After demonstrating mastery of concepts and vocabulary, students apply these skills in writing, giving them the opportunity to master language skills in authentic writing

A special curriculum that's "Just for Me".

Achieve Language also includes the Just for Me full-year curriculum with highly differentiated content designed for English language learners. It allows teachers to teach through content and themes, and can be implemented either in whole-class environments or in pull-out classes specifically meant for ELLs. Each Just for Me unit includes a meta-cognitive strategy focus, four lessons with corresponding lesson plans, identified vocabulary and unit-level projects.

An intensive focus on vocabulary.

Achieve Language places particular emphasis on the acquisition of academic vocabulary by English language learners. It does so in three ways:

  • Discipline-specific academic vocabulary. These are words that are like the ones identified by Marzano and Pickering to address the demands of content-area classes particularly in the domains of science and social studies. Words are identified at the unit level and are specific to the themes covered. The words that are introduced and reinforced through song and video

  • Cross-disciplinary words. These are words taken from the Academic Word List (Coxhead). Research has shown that if ELLs learn this list of 570 words, their comprehension increases by 10%. The words cross all domains that students see in many/most of their courses. Words are embedded into the Unit Guiding Questions, which students come back to after every article — helping them to understand the meaning of the words and use them in multiple contexts

  • Independent exposure to and practice with level-appropriate words. These often are words defined by Isabelle Beck as Tier II words. Students have multiple exposures to the words to increase their word bank. These also are dictionary words tailored to the need of each student, so that students can interact with them independently. In the Just for Me curriculum, the words come with picture associations so students are better able to master them. These also are the words for which students get a vocabulary and concept preview

An on-going emphasis on practicing effective communications.

Achieve Language places considerable emphasis on writing — both informally and formally. It places similar emphasis on speaking. Through differentiation, Achieve Language brings every student in the class together around the same topic — allowing for discussions and debates.

Other key features, supports and scaffolds.
  • Pre-reading level. Achieve Language includes an extra reading level, lower than the ones offered in Achieve's other programs, in order to meet the needs of students who are still working on sight word vocabulary/reading
  • Extra instructional ideas. Special lesson plans are provided for supporting language learners and promoting language development

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