English language learners (ELLs) achieve better in English by making connections between their home language, personal experiences, education, interests, and the new language. This is what the Connect program was created around.
Lessons taught in a thematic way allow students to see relationships and commonalities between vocabulary and concepts across different subject areas.
For example, in the Connect program, lessons are taught thematically and contain various components to present the English language in a meaningful and comprehensible way. The lessons contain a section called Before You Read where vocabulary is presented prior to reading a text.
Key vocabulary words for a lesson are shown in the Vocabulary in Context section. These words relate to the theme and are introduced using visual cues and graphic organizers to help students connect meaning to the words.
To further assist, the words are presented in a sentence and highlighted for students to focus on. They then search their prior knowledge of English or cognates from their native language to help determine meaning through the context.
Students then complete activities in which they can practice using the words and scaffold them throughout lessons within the theme.
After learning the words, the same highlighted vocabulary words appear in the text that follows. This allows students to use context clues in the text and visual cues on the pages to reinforce the meanings of the words that they learned.
By connecting context to the vocabulary words, students will form mental links between words and concepts and increase their English proficiency at a faster rate.