When looking for a good intervention model for English learners, it is important to have a checklist on hand!
Jamie Herbst, former educator and current professional development specialist at Istation, advises district leaders and teaches to consider the following as they build their classroom intervention strategy.
1. Work with assessments that are nationally normed.
“The percentile rank is really important to see where students have placed among their peers across the nation,” Herbst said. As an example, if a student has tested at the one percentile in letter knowledge, “I definitely know I have to go over all of the letters with this student right away,” she said.
2. Consider a blended approach.
It may be that the student is more comfortable using the computer “because there’s no one there to judge them or they’re too shy to answer a question,” Herbst said, whereas other students might “perform better one-on-one with the teacher.”
3. Choose software with grade-appropriate testing and lessons.
Take, for example, a 5th grader: “You want to keep them at that 5th grade level of knowledge and skills,” Herbst said, “but you also want to be able to shelter, scaffold or support it, so that students can understand the topic. That could include the use of more visuals and more supports.”
4. Gauge cultural suitability.
If Spanish is the focus, make sure the assessments and lessons use stories and language that come from many areas of the world. The best programs use a “universal” Spanish that “removes the regionalism,” Herbst explained.
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