Headsprout Ensures Reading Success for a Wide Variety of Learners

Evidence of Effectiveness: Performance of English Language Learners on Headsprout

What is Headsprout Early Reading?

Headsprout Early Reading provides instruction in Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary, and Reading Comprehension, and teaches segmenting, blending, decoding in context, and reading for meaning and enjoyment. Headsproutís rigorous development and user testing process ensures reading success across a wide variety of learners.

Key Program Outcomes

Headsprout Early Reading incorporates the five critical components of reading instruction cited by the National Reading Panel and Reading First: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.
  • ✓ Reading/decoding up to the mid-2nd-grade level
  • ✓ Fluent knowledge of over 90 phonetic elements and over 100 sight words
  • ✓ Potential reading vocabulary of over 5,000 words
  • ✓ Progression from single word comprehension to building meaning within sentences and inferential comprehension
  • ✓ Mastery of the skills and strategies necessary to succeed on standardized tests

Strong Scores for English Language Learners (ELL)

Headsprout Early Reading completers identified as ELL students maintain an accuracy level of over 90% correct in the program, while progressing to the outcomes described above. The chart below shows the average percent correct for both ELL and native English-speaking students who have completed episodes 1-40 and episodes 41-80 of Headsprout Early Reading. The negligible differences (less than 1%) between ELL students and native English speakers indicate that ELL students can follow directions and complete tasks on Headsprout Early Reading as accurately as their English-speaking peers.

Headsprout is effective because it provides low-English language students with the additional practice needed to achieve the same educational goals as their peers. The following strategies, all provided within Headsprout Early Reading, are recommended to aid in the transition to English.


Effective daily instruction

  • Provides concentrated instruction daily, and tailors that instruction to each studentís unique needs.

Continual assessment

  • Measures progress towards valid instructional objectives frequently, reinforces success, and changes instruction that is not working.

Home-school connection

  • Involves parents whenever and however possible. Encourages and provides avenues for parents to be active participants in their childís learning.

Contact with spoken English

  • Provides models of clearly spoken English and multiple opportunities to speak English.

Tools Provided by Headsprout

  • The program starts at a non-reader level and gradually builds skills from there
  • Approximately 180 individualized interactions within each 20-minute episode
  • A learner does not exit an instructional segment without achieving the specific learning goal for that segment
  • Through its moment-to-moment adaptation, the program provides additional instruction, practice, or even a specialized set of instructions based on the studentís needs
  • Continuous assessment of instructional goals while learners are using the program
  • Individualized, adaptive correction routines if a learner is not meeting the instructional goal
  • Ongoing individual and group performance data to use in making instructional decisions
  • Stories can be printed and brought home to read and share with the family
  • Students can have access to our program from home, allowing parents to be active participants
  • Progress reports can be automatically emailed to parents for all lessons done at school
  • English oral language models presented through instruction, storyline, and comprehension activities Ė all within engaging animations

Download Research

Product Update: Learning A-Z has merged Headsproutís two elementary reading products ó Headsprout Early Reading and Headsprout Reading Comprehension ó into one adaptive, effective, and fun K-5 online reading program. From introducing early readers to key reading fundamentals to growing reading comprehension skills for more established readers, Headsprout is the perfect resource to help children become capable and confident readers.