English Learner offline resources

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About the resources

The Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant Plus programs provide a solid base for students to learn about and practice the English language. However, students who are not familiar with English idioms, cultural references, and vocabulary may have a few extra hurdles when learning the English language. With this in mind, Scientific Learning has developed a set of English Learner offline resources to supplement the Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant Plus programs.

Where can I find the resources?

Download the offline resources from User guides & manuals, or use these quick links:

Fast ForWord Offline Resources for English Learners

Reading Assistant Plus Offline Resources for English Learners (Elementary)

Fast ForWord Language and Literacy Flash Cards

What resources are provided?

The offline resources include individual, leveled lessons for the Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant Plus programs that provide targeted instruction for English Learners. The lessons are based on the SIOP® Model, with added differentiation for the Fast ForWord exercises.

Many of the lessons provide writing tasks, including work with graphic organizers (for example, diagrams, tables, concept webs).

A few Fast ForWord lessons include flash cards to support vocabulary development.

Which of the programs have resources?

With the exception of some new selections, most of the elementary selections in Reading Assistant Plus have resources, with multiple lessons for some of the longer and more complex selections

Most of the Fast ForWord program exercises have resources, while the few exercises that focus on sounds or nonsense words do not. Those exercises can be supported through classroom instruction in early literacy/pre-literacy skills, which is not exclusive to English Learners. Some of the longer and more complex exercises have multiple lessons, and a few lessons include flash cards to support vocabulary development.

Reading Readiness does not have resources, as it teaches early literacy skills such as phoneme/grapheme identification and onset-rime. If your student is having challenges with the exercises in Reading Readiness, you can try using typical early literacy classroom instructional practices.

Tip: You can use the Fast ForWord English learner resources with the Foundations I and Foundations II programs.

Which students will benefit from the resources?

The offline resources were written with English Learners in mind, but are certainly not limited to those students. Feel free use them with any Fast ForWord or Reading Assistant Plus student that might benefit from a little extra practice. For example:

  • Students who are new to our programs
  • Students receiving intervention alerts in the Results reports
  • Students classified as pre-emergent, emergent, beginning, developing, expanding, or bridging in English language
  • Students being considered or progress-monitored for special educations services
  • Students receiving services for special education, speech language pathology, or occupational therapy

Which staff members can use the resources?

The offline resources were designed for these instructors, but any qualified instructor can use the offline resources with their Fast ForWord or Reading Assistant Plus students. For example:

  • General education classroom teachers
  • ELS teachers or ELL coordinators
  • Special educators
  • Speech language pathologists
  • Occupational therapists
  • School social workers or psychologists

When should I use the resources?

The offline resources are appropriate for any of these environments:

  • Readers Workshop
  • Writers Workshop
  • Guided Reading
  • ESL pullouts
  • ELD/English Language Development blocks
  • Intervention blocks
  • Special education classes
  • Occupational therapy sessions
  • School psychologist/social worker sessions (with IEP or parent and administrator approval)

How to use the resources

The lessons and flash cards can be incorporated into your instruction in a variety of ways. While each lesson is written for a 10 to 30 minute mini-lesson or class session, you can adapt the lessons as needed to meet your student or scheduling needs.

Each lesson includes the following components:

  • Standards. Lists the “Can Do Descriptors” for the lesson, taken directly from the WIDA standards framework. To learn more see https://www.wida.us/standards/can_dos.
  • Targeted English Language Proficiency. Lists the WIDA language proficiency levels targeted in the lesson: Entering, Emerging, Developing, Expanding, Bridging, and/or Reaching.
  • Objectives. Provides the goals of the lesson; specifically language and content objectives.
  • Key Vocabulary. Identifies important vocabulary words.
  • Materials. Lists the items needed for the lesson.
  • Motivation. Provides a context for the lesson.
  • Presentation. Includes the actual lesson content to be presented to your students.
  • Practice/Application. Outlines group or individual activities designed to reinforce the presentation content.
  • Review/Assessment. Includes prompts for getting your students started on the Scientific Learning program.
  • ELD Differentiation (Fast ForWord only). Provides scaffolds at the language proficiency levels of the lesson. The differentiation is not part of the SIOP model, but is included to help you adapt the lessons as needed. For example, if you feel that a student may not be adequately challenged by a lesson, you can use the differentiation to help you craft a modified lesson plan for that student.
  • Extension. Provides extra activities to further challenge students.

Throughout the lesson you’ll see specific instructions for you (in plain text) and for your students (in bold text, to be read aloud to your students). The student instruction scripts are written in a casual tone to reflect a classroom environment. Here’s an example:

Learning new words is something good readers do to help understand stories. Why is it important to understand what we read? Give students time to think and respond.

You may also notice some text in parentheses at the top of a section. The authors of SIOP include these familiar research-based terms to help you identify those sections.

Best practices for the classroom

Research shows the efficacy of providing native language support across the four language domains (reading, writing, listening, speaking), and we recommend using it where applicable and available.

In addition, the following supports can help boost student success, both with our products and in your classroom instruction. Feel free to incorporate and adapt these strategies as you see fit.

  • Create word walls/cognate walls in your classroom
  • Incorporate visuals and/or realia (real life objects) into your lessons
  • Provide explicit vocabulary instruction
  • Try some Total Physical Response (TPR) activities
  • Preview essential learnings and key vocabulary from the Scientific Learning programs
  • Expand your use of language scaffolding based on the techniques provided in the lessons or from other resources
  • Celebrate student success by incorporating classroom motivation systems for activity in the programs