There have been growing concerns nationwide about the effects of Covid and learning loss in children. According to the New York Times, a study by McKinsey & Company and the Northwest Evaluation Association showed that the challenges faced by our nation’s most vulnerable children have been exacerbated by poverty, lack of access to digital infrastructure, and the absence of routine and in-person instruction provided by traditional schools.
The news is not all grim, however. School districts nationwide have been creative in providing supplemental learning opportunities for students, including summer enrichment programs designed especially for multilingual learners looking to continue their journey to English language proficiency. These programs have become integral lifelines for students and families not only for language building, but also for providing safe spaces for students to go during the long summer months when schools typically are not in session.
Another benefit of these specialized summer programs is that they often target smaller groups of students with the greatest areas of need. In addition, because these groups of summer students tend to be smaller than the traditional class size, there is often more room for engaging activities, exploration, and social interaction, all excellent tools for language development.
However, another important tool that schools and districts consider when creating these summer programs is curriculum. It is not enough to implement only activities and socialization throughout the day. While these aspects of learning are vital to language development, there must also be research-based materials that are rooted in the science of reading. These materials provide the foundation of language development that is necessary for language growth and proficiency.
At Vista, our literacy programs, including Get Ready!/Get Reading! Sail & Soar, Get Ready!/Get Reading! 6-8, and Get Ready!/Get Reading! 9-12 provide newcomer and beginning multilingual learners with the foundational skills necessary for English proficiency. These resources serve as building blocks to English Language Development programs and are available in both print and digital format, thereby bridging the digital divide and allowing for instruction through multiple methods of delivery.
Help your multilingual students Get Ready to learn this summer!
By: Jody Nolf
Also read: Strategies for Newcomers and SLIFE Students