English Language Support
Arbor Valley Academy teaches all students from all over the world.
Arbor Valley Academy is committed to providing an exceptional, world-class American education to students from around the globe.
Arbor Valley Academy proudly welcomes students from around the country and the world, and their diverse perspectives enrich our community. We offer a variety of English Language courses and resources within our curriculum to support students whose primary language is not English. International and multilingual students are encouraged to take advantage of these supports to enhance any aspect of their English use or cross-cultural communication.
One of the reasons that Arbor Valley Academy partnered with Edgenuity to provide our curriculum is that they started with the global student in mind, employing research-based strategies to teach English as a second (or a third) language and embedding best practices in English Language Learner (ELL) support in every lesson.
Edgenuity courses provide multiple exposures to vocabulary.
Research indicates that “front-loading” or pre-teaching vocabulary before a lesson helps make content more accessible to students. Studies also show that vocabulary development is enhanced when students receive multiple exposures to words. At the beginning of each lesson, AVA students are explicitly taught four to six academic and domain-specific vocabulary words. Students have opportunities to practice using and applying these words through the course. They also have access to the Edgenuity glossary tool, which enables them to track their understanding of vocabulary words.
Set high expectations.
Studies indicate that ELLs are often held to lower benchmarks for academic achievement than their non-ELL peers. All too often, teachers tend to water down the curricula and do not teach higher-order thinking skills. Arbor Valley Academy strives to embed higher-order thinking skills such as analysis, evaluation, and application throughout each course and lessons are scaffolded to make them accessible to all learners. In reading assignments, students learn to analyze text closely. Writing assignments require students to support a position using evidence from primary and secondary sources. In mathematics, students solve multi-step problems and justify their thinking. Interactive and open-ended activities leverage technology to enable students to make and test predictions and build conceptual understanding. Students also engage in projects and performance tasks designed to build higher-level thinking skills that can be applied across a wide variety of authentic learning contexts. Finally, discussion boards enable students to collaborate in a teacher-guided and-monitored forum that elicits academic discourse and critical thought.
Provide explicit instruction.
Explicit instruction includes setting clear learning goals, modeling how to complete a task, providing multiple opportunities for students to practice skills independently, and showing relationships between concepts, words, and ideas. Studies indicate that explicit instruction can improve ELLs’ comprehension. Explicit instruction is the cornerstone of AVA’s Edgenuity courses. Our courses feature videos of highly qualified, certified instructors who deliver explicit instruction, orient students to the lesson goals, ground concepts in relevant real-world contexts, and offer clear and concise explanations of the subjects they teach.
Activate background knowledge.
Data show that ELLs vary in age, socioeconomic status, school exposure, background knowledge, life experiences, and culture. Studies indicate that effective ELL instruction builds upon students’ existing knowledge to make content meaningful. Throughout our courses, Edgenuity activates students’ background knowledge. The warm-up at the beginning of the lesson connects students’ prior knowledge to new content. Direct-instruction videos emphasize the real-world context and relevance of the subject matter. On-screen teachers also prompt students to think about what they already know when learning new topics.
Make instruction accessible.
Research shows that universally accessible instruction can anticipate and accommodate the needs of ELLs with diverse backgrounds by proving multiple means of expression, representation, and engagement. Studies also show that graphic organizers can help make relationships between concepts and skills apparent to students. Edgenuity courses provide students with multiple means of representation, expression, and engagement.
Multiple Means of Representation: Edgenuity courses use video lectures, graphic displays, text, simulations, video captioning, and read-aloud support features. Onscreen teachers explain concepts using verbal, concrete, manipulative, numerical, graphical, and symbolic representations. Graphic organizers are included in instruction, tasks, and assignments.
Multiple Means of Expression: Throughout instruction and assessments, students manipulate images, answer questions, highlight text, complete surveys, and fill out graphic organizers. These multiple means of expression appeal to a variety of learning styles and encourage students to demonstrate their knowledge in a variety of ways.
Multiple Means of Engagement: Detailed course maps and pacing guides clearly state expectations, provide students with a structured overview of course activities and objectives, and visually alert students and teachers to students’ course progress and pace. Teachers can personalize instruction based on an individual student’s needs. Prior to instruction, teachers can create individualized tutoring modules by customizing targeted supplemental learning blocks. At the end of instruction, teachers can adjust the time allotted for assessments, allow students to use a calculator or dictionary, or modify grading settings.
Use home language strategically.
Studies show that students can better understand complex concepts if they are explained in their home language. Students can translate on-screen text into Arabic, Armenian, Chinese, Creole, Filipino, French, German, Haitian, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai, or Vietnamese. They can also hear any section of text read aloud in English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, or Arabic for auditory comprehension. By using the translation feature, students can check for accurate reading comprehension.
Model metacognitive strategies.
Studies show that metacognitive strategy instruction—or helping students to “think about their thinking”—can enhance ELLs’ academic achievement. In particular, strategies such as planning and goal setting, asking questions, making predictions, monitoring comprehension, problem-solving, and evaluating can help improve ELL students’ declarative, procedural, and conditional knowledge.
Edgenuity provides problem-solving, metacognitive, and reading-strategy instruction.
Students are taught a multi-step process for solving problems. They learn how to use mnemonics, graphic organizers, checklists, and problem-solving strategies to check, process, and retrieve information. They also are taught comprehension strategies such as making connections, predicting, visualizing, asking questions, monitoring understanding, making inferences, analyzing text structure, and synthesizing. Edgenuity courses encourage student elaboration, self-questioning, and explanation.
To learn more about Arbor Valley Academy’s English Language Support Services, please contact us.