How is the Language Tree Online program different from other ELD tools?
There is no ELD tool available that is directly comparable. We’ve heard this from district admins and teachers who have used our program.
Only the Language Tree Online program offers ALL of these features and benefits:
- Alignment with the latest ELD standards (WIDA, CA 2012, TEKS/Texas ELPS, NYS Next Gen ELA)
- Support for acculturation into the American school system
- Designed specifically for students at the secondary grade levels with age-appropriate content and role models
- Suitable for teacher-led and self-paced independent learning
- Enables a true hybrid teaching approach with both synchronous instructional routines and online lessons/activities that can be done at any time
What are the target grade levels for the ELD programs?
Our program is specifically designed for students in the secondary grade levels (Gr. 6-12). We have had schools successfully use our programs with their older elementary (Gr. 4-5) students as well.
What are the levels of English language proficiency addressed by the Language Tree Online programs?
ELD 1 is for beginner-level English learners. These students would generally be newcomers or English learners with 1-2 years of study in an ELD/ESOL program.
ELD 2 is for intermediate-level English learners and long-term English learners (LTELs). These students would generally be at the Developing, Expanding, or Intermediate proficiency level.
Is the program suitable for a SIFE or English learner with limited English skills?
Language Tree Online ELD1 was specifically developed for newcomers in the secondary grades, with scaffolding supports presented systematically throughout the materials. The program deploys a variety of multi-sensory techniques to ensure understanding so new concepts can be grasped by learners with very limited language comprehension. This includes the use of videos, images, and audio support cues throughout the program. For SIFE/SLIFE students, we recommend teachers use our downloadable instructional routines to build schema and frontload concepts and vocabulary before the students start using the online programs. This gives ELLs the opportunity to gain background schema along with functional vocabulary.
How is this course generally used in a classroom? Does it require teacher intervention?
The course can be adapted to different class situations, whether there is designated ELD time, in mixed ELA/ELD classes, or for remote learning. Our course maximizes productive time so students can keep learning asynchronously even if the instructor is working with other students.
The ability to learn independently also benefits students who enter a class mid-year as our course can be used to help them catch up to their peers. While we feel that best practice would be a hybrid or blended learning approach with a combination of teacher-led instruction with students reviewing the lessons and doing the online practice exercises on their own, we realize this may not always be possible.
Does the program automatically assign lessons to a student based on the assessment results?
No, this is a manual process that the teacher still controls. The entry assessment provides the teacher with information (via our reporting) about each student’s grasp of a specific language standard, such as correctly using pronouns. The teacher can then focus class time on this topic or manually assign modules that support the development of needed language skills.
We highly recommend that a student goes through all of the lesson modules regardless of scores in order to review concepts and build confidence.
What type of reporting can I get as a teacher?
You have access to a variety of data that offers insight into your class and individual student progress. With our thorough formative Entry Assessments, you can pinpoint each student's specific language skill gaps to understand where additional support is needed. You can also view whole class trends to help inform teaching next steps.
As students work through the lessons, you can stay on top of student progress as well as know when a student has run into issues with completing a specific lesson and intervention may be warranted.
Finally, our Exit Assessments are designed to show growth and indicate language areas that still require strengthening.
Besides WIDA, what other state standards are you aligned with?
We are in lock-step with the latest California 2012 ELD proficiency standards. Our National Board-certified curriculum developer was one of the evaluators of the recently-launched ELPAC (English Language Proficiency Assessment of California). See this link to see how our curriculum is correlated with California standards. We are also aligned with Texas ELPS standards, Louisiana, and New York NextGen ELA.
Are there efficacy studies available to show the effectiveness of your program?
Our program is new, but our curriculum was developed using evidence-based research on how best to support English learners. We are in the process of running an efficacy study with a large school district together with Project Tomorrow. We will share the results as soon as this data is available.
How long is the program? In other words, can this course last a full school year?
Our courses cover the breadth of standards for each proficiency level. If used with fidelity (assessments, all modules in the online course, and recommended instructional routines), the ELD 1 or ELD 2 program would each last the full academic school year.
However, this will depend on how much time the teacher has allocated for students to work on the Language Tree Online program and how quickly the students are able to master the language skills being taught.
Is this course available with subtitles in different languages?
The videos in the American School Culture are available in Spanish voiceover and subtitles in six other common languages.
However, the standards-based assessments and lessons are in English only, which follows best practices in ELD pedagogy. As scaffolding, we provide visual and audio support in our lessons and exercises. Note that it is perfectly fine for students to use translation tools on the Internet to help them better comprehend lessons and tasks.
How can I know if the student has benefited from your course?
Our goal is to help students gain the skills needed to move up to the next English language proficiency level. This happens only after the annual state proficiency assessment (e.g., the Summative ELPAC in California happens sometime between February and May). Our Exit assessment, which should be given after the lesson modules are completed, is a good indicator of progress. Teachers can compare Exit and Entry assessment results.
While we see good progress (an average of 20% improvement in scores), we cannot claim that our assessment results predict the outcome of the state assessments.
Can a student access the course at home?
Yes, the course is web-based, so students can securely access the course on any Internet-connected device at any time using their assigned login credentials or through their school’s portal.
Can a student use it on a mobile device or tablet?
Yes. Our course is built on the Moodle LMS which has a “responsive” interface so it works on the mobile web. However, the best user experience would be either with the Moodle mobile app or on a computer.
We use a different LMS (e.g., Canvas, Blackboard, Schoology). Can we use our LMS with your course?
Our course is built on Moodle, which is LTI-compliant. This enables us to interoperate with other LTI-compliant learning management systems.
If your school uses Canvas, a link to our program can be embedded in the Canvas portal.
Our district uses ClassLink (or Clever) for single sign-on and rostering. Is your course ClassLink (or Clever) -compliant?
We are certified on Clever and ClassLink for SSO and rostering. What does this mean? It means that students and teachers who are authorized to use our program can use their established credentials and login method to log into the program through the Clever or ClassLink portal. No new username/password to remember. In most cases, our program will show up as a “tile” on their Clever or Canvas portal once they log in.
What is the WAN/LAN bandwidth requirements for each user?
Our course includes streaming audio and video components, which have variable bandwidth requirements. The videos are compressed and optimized. To be safe, we recommend up to 4Mbps per user.