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Learning Resources(R) Launches Hands-On Classroom Literacy Tools for English Language Learners

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VERNON HILLS, Ill., To address the literacy needs of the growing number of English Language Learners (ELLs) and help schools meet No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements, Learning Resources(R), a leading manufacturer of innovative, hands-on educational tools, today announced the launch of Reading Rods(R) Kits for English Language Learners and Spanish Literacy Kits. Reading Rods Kits for English Language Learners and Spanish Literacy Kits are now available nationwide.

There are more than five million ELLs (also known as "English as a second language or ESL students") speaking more than 400 languages other than English in U.S. public schools (grades pre-K through 12). According to No Child Left Behind legislation, ELLs must meet rigorous literacy requirements within three years and are required to be tested along with mainstream English-speaking students, which can present unique challenges in schools with a large population of ELLs.

"ELL students enter a classroom with a language barrier, especially in a non-bilingual setting, and many teachers have not received the necessary training nor do they have the resources to help these students quickly learn the language and get up-to-speed in the coursework," said Kary Johnson, M.ED, a bilingual reading specialist at Charlotte Anderson Elementary, Mansfield Independent School District, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. "Supplemental classroom materials, like the Learning Resources ELL/ESL kits, will enable teachers and students to make the kinds of educational gains necessary for ELL success."

The new Learning Resources ELL/ESL kits were developed as part of the company's award-winning Reading Rods(R) line, a scientifically proven supplemental reading program that combines color-coded, interlocking rods imprinted with letters, consonants and other elements of reading with related components such as activity books and cards. One recent independent Texas study showed the mean scores of first graders taking the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) increased by more than 284 percent in a nine-month period when these children used Learning Resources English Reading Rods as a supplemental program to their standard reading curricula.

Literacy for All

Depending on the state in which they live, ELLs at the elementary school level are taught with either an English-only or bilingual approach. But regardless of the method used, all ELLs in U.S. public schools are tasked with learning English as a second language. The new Reading Rods Kits for English Language Learners are first-of-their-kind, manipulative-based literacy kits based on the proven Reading Rods method of literacy instruction to help ELLs gain fluency and confidence in English and develop skills in phonemic awareness, listening, pronunciation, vocabulary, spelling and parts of speech.

Reading Rods provide ELLs with a multisensory experience that engages children of all learning styles (tactile, kinesthetic, auditory and visual). Reading Rods are color-coded to define the functions of the letter, word parts or words, which gives visual learners extra cues, while the hands-on manipulation of the Rods provides environmental stimulation for active, kinesthetic and tactile learners. Also, the Rods connect from left to right, which corresponds with reading direction.

The Reading Rods for ELLs Beginning Phonics and Newcomers Themes Kits can be used in mainstream classrooms, English language instruction within bilingual programs or any ELL/ESL program.

The three Spanish Literacy Kits developed by Learning Resources provide elementary schools that are required to offer native language instruction for Spanish-speaking students an effective tool to develop literacy. (Spanish is the most prevalent native language among ELLs nationwide). Research shows that a student's proficiency in his or her first language and knowledge of how language works enhance acquisition of the second language.

The new Spanish literacy materials, which include Phonemic Awareness, Phonics & Vocabulary and Basic Sentences Kits, provide activities that appeal to various learning styles. The lesson plans are written in English with scripting in Spanish and are designed for individual students or an entire class.

The Importance of Research-Based Learning in Schools

The No Child Left Behind Act, which regulates and funds U.S. public schools with federal monies, requires that educational products, including materials for reading instruction, are scientifically research-based in order to be purchased with NCLB funds. The Partnership for Reading (a collaborative effort between the National Institute for Literacy, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the U.S. Department of Education) and the National Reading Panel have both made evidence-based reports available to teachers, educational administrators, parents and policy-makers who have an interest in selecting effective methods and materials that will help children become better readers.

The activities in the Reading Rods(R) Kits for English Language Learners and Spanish Literacy Kits are aligned with the report from the National Reading Panel (Teaching Children to Read) and support all five key areas of reading instruction (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and text comprehension) outlined in Put Reading First, the Partnership for Reading's report on successful reading achievement.

About Learning Resources

Located in Vernon Hills, Ill., Learning Resources is a leading manufacturer of innovative, hands-on educational materials for classrooms worldwide and of learning toys for the home. For more than 20 years, the company has been a trusted source for educators and parents for quality, award-winning educational products in language, math, science and early childhood. For more information about Learning Resources, visit http://www.learningresources.com/ .

For more information, contact: Kim McLynn Learning Resources, Inc. 847-573-8406, ext. 289Learning Resources

Web site: http://www.learningresources.com/

— Press Release
PR Newswire


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