Our sensory-cognitive programs are often a critical missing piece in English Language Development. By adding the overlooked component of explicit sensory-cognitive instruction, we have seen evidence of an acceleration of language and literacy skills for many English Learners. Here’s how our programs work:
- Oral Language Development
Learning a language is a process, and the more ELs use English, the more proficient they will become. V/V engages students in frequent, oral practice. Steps include structured routines where students must verbalize key details of the story, recall key concepts, summarize in order, and paraphrase the story back.
The Socratic questioning method used systematically throughout the V/V® process allows you to differentiate and scaffold language depending on the proficiency level of students (e.g., Beginning, Emerging, Advanced). Beginning ELs need lots of choice-contrast questioning, teacher modeling, and a heavy emphasis on vocabulary acquisition. There is a decrease in prompting and modeling for Emerging ELs and a transition to more open-ended questions. You can expect more verbalization and vocabulary development.
- Explicit Vocabulary Development
In V/V, students visualize and verbalize for additional oral language development, and add new vocabulary terms. For example: (T) “What do you picture for the word ‘perimeter’?” (S) “I see a shape like a rectangle, and I picture the four separate sides, and then I just add the four sides up to get the answer”. Extra tip: For Spanish-speaking students, teach them that this word is a cognate (“el perímetro” in Spanish).
- Foundations of Reading
Seeing Stars systematically develops symbol imagery as a basis for orthographic awareness, phonemic awareness, and overall word reading ability. This is critical for ELs because English is orthographically complex with substantial variability, while other languages like Spanish are more predictable.
- Frequent Interaction with phoneme/grapheme relationship
Symbol imagery exercises utilized throughout the steps of Seeing Stars provide for frequent interaction and practice with the alphabetic principles of English, and the phoneme-grapheme relationship.
For ELs, symbol imagery and automatic sight word recognition are critical for accelerating decoding skills and attaining fluency.
- Explicit, multisensory instruction
When integrated with the Seeing Stars® program, LiPS explicitly develops the foundations of reading, using a systematic, multisensory approach to anchor and stabilize sounds and letters, particularly those not transferable from a native language to a second language. LiPS provides a concrete, multisensory tool to strengthen phonemic awareness and aid in pronunciation.
See how this Colorado school closed the achievement gap for English Learners.