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Using Headsprout with ELLs

Students with limited English proficiency or who are learning English as a second language require extra support as they shift to English. Although Headsprout was not designed specifically for ELLs, its high adaptability and gradual progression of skills help ELLs learn to read and comprehend English.


Multiple Opportunities to Speak and Hear English

Headsprout builds skills by providing regular contact with clearly spoken and written English, and many opportunities to speak English aloud and answer questions in English. The program starts at the non-reader level and begins systematically teaching fundamental reading skills from there.

  • Each lesson builds upon previous material learned, and English oral language models are presented through instruction, vocabulary exercises, story line, and comprehension activities, all with engaging animations.
  • Students have the opportunity to make oral responses and check the accuracy of their own responses.

Support for Vocabulary Learning

In Headsprout Early Reading, new words that may be unfamiliar are always introduced with a picture or animation that shows the meaning of the word. In Headsprout Reading Comprehension, target vocabulary words are introduced with pictures showing the meaning, and learners can also click on key words while reading passages to hear the wordís pronunciation and a short definition.

Support for Spanish Speakers

Headsprout also has a readiness activity to help transition Spanish-speaking ELLs to the program. It is recommended that Spanish-speaking ELLs first complete Spanish Mousing Around, then complete English Mousing Around, before starting Headsprout Early Reading. Both Spanish and English Mousing Around can be repeated as needed for learners to become familiar with the language of instruction and directions used in the program.

Concentrated, Individualized Instruction

Headsprout provides concentrated, effective, individualized instruction where students learn at their own level and pace. The programís carefully designed instructional sequence allows learners to start with things they know or can easily do and builds from there.

High amounts of one-on-one learning are needed by many English language learners in order to succeed at reading in English. Headsprout is full of individualized interactions within each episode.

Teaching Until Objectives Are Met for Each Student

Although the core instruction is the same for all learners, some learners may require more instruction and practice, or even a specialized set of instructions based on their needs. Headsprout teaches until the objectives are met, individualizing instruction yet making sure each student meets key program objectives.

  • Instruction is tailored to meet the needs of each learneróand ensures that those needs are met before the episode comes to an end. Students practice and learn until they have mastered the skill.
  • The program ensures that a learner does not exit an instructional segment without achieving that specific learning goal. The program manages this through moment-to-moment adaptation.

Headsprout is effective because it provides English language learners with the additional practice and review needed to achieve the same educational goals as their peers.

Ongoing Assessment Helps Teachers Monitor Progress

Headsprout helps teachers remain in constant contact with student data. The reports for the classroom and for individual students help teachers make informed decisions.

Headsprout continually assesses student skills during teaching, and the reports allow you to monitor student progress and better understand each studentís strengths and needs.