English Language Learners boost math achievement

Today, almost half of language minority students, or over 5.3 million students, are English Language Learners (ELLs). And pre-K-12 ELL enrollment in the U.S. is growing at almost six times the rate of total student enrollment. Districts, schools, and teachers areusing DreamBox Learning© Math to meet the unique needs of this growing population.

Math proficiency challenges for ELLs

Why is achieving math proficiency so challenging for ELLs and their teachers? In the mainstream classroom, ELLs need extra opportunities and support to learn and practice math concepts and language, because they have:

  • Varying levels of English language proficiency
  • Varying levels of academic math language
  • Varying levels of math proficiency and the need for differentiated instruction

And standard assessments often can't determine ELLs' true math knowledge (do their scores reflect a lack of math knowledge or a lack of math language?)

It's often not possible for schools to devote the 1:1 time that's needed to individualize instruction for each student. An adaptive learning program that responds to each student's unique needs, tracks progress, and incorporates best practices in ELL math instruction can help these students achieve math proficiency.

Closing the ELL achievement gap

To be successful, ELLs need to be able to explore mathematical concepts in a way that's less language-dependent than other teaching materials and methods. Concepts are made more comprehensible for ELLs using visual math manipulatives, which help develop understanding and skills through multiple modalities, promoting problem solving and critical thinking.

DreamBox Learning's interactive lessons are visual and hands-on, helping students develop a strong sense of number. They provide the "comprehensible input" ELL educators know is required, on which students can build a strong foundation and learn the language of mathematics.

  • DreamBox integrates assessment and instruction, tracking every mouse click to gain insight into student strategies and comprehension, and direct learning within the program
  • Foundational lessons don't require complex verbal or written directions or explanations
  • Student progress reports can inform instructional plans and provide teachers and administrators with data on proficiency and program effectiveness

DreamBox Learning's intelligent adaptive technology, using ELL best practices, can help ELLs close the achievement gap.