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EdTech Tools Receive Recognition for Helping ELLs Learn

EdTech Tools Receive Recognition for Helping ELLs Learn

Last week, The NewSchools Venture Fund announced the winners of a funding competition designed to find the best edtech tools that are helping English Language Learners (ELLs) learn.

The contest was announced to find tools that focus on ELLs—a student population that is typically underserved despite their growth in numbers.

Despite comprising roughly 10 percent of the student population, "there are very few edtech tools to address the needs of this rapidly growing population,” said NewSchools in a statement.

"How will teachers have what they need to ensure that ELL students graduate prepared and inspired to achieve their most ambitious dreams?” they asked.

And thus, the Ignite English Language Learning Challenge was created, with 13 winners receiving grants for their work.

According to NewSchools, the companies all address at least one critical ELL need by:

  • Making rigorous academic content accessible to students of all language levels
  • Addressing social and emotional aspects of language learning
  • Enabling language learning experiences that are more authentic and culturally relevant
  • Increasing opportunities for engagement with parents and families

Together, the 13 companies offer a wide-range of services that help ELLs succeed.

Newsela, for example, ensures that academic content is available to students of all language levels without sacrificing accessibility to rigorous academic content.

Other companies, like TalkingPoints, works on improving communication between teachers and parents or guardians who don’t speak fluent English.

Available in over 20 languages, the communication tool allows for meaningful engagement between teachers and families via text messages.

Nearpod gives educators access to “ready-to-use lessons designed for ELL students” while Flocabulary merges hip-hop and academic content to “empower ELL students through vocabulary acquisition and mastery.”

The 13 winners are as follows:

  • eSpark Learning
  • Flocabulary
  • Listenwise
  • Nearpod
  • Newsela
  • Quill.org
  • Readworks
  • Storyworld
  • Spotlight
  • Speak Agent
  • Mawi Learning
  • TalkingPoints
  • ThinkCERCA

Read more about the 13 companies here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

11/22/2016

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