The Ooka Island Learn-to-Read System for English Language Learners
The methodology of The Ooka Island Learn-to-Read System can benefit students learning to read English. The system focuses on the acquisition of the sounds of the English language, and provides reading material with gradually increasing language complexity, making it a natural introduction for an ELL child with some beginning English skills. As children progress through the game, the adoptive programming keeps them working at an optimum level, ensuring mastery and readiness as they move forward.
Why is Ooka Island effective for English Language Learners?
1. English language learners must become very familiar with the sounds of English to be able to recognize the letters and immediately recall the corresponding sounds, and to be able to segment words into sounds, and blend sounds into words. This is particularly important for sounds that do not exist in their first language. The guided process in Ooka Island prepares the child to effortlessly decode when reading.
2. The Ooka Island Learn-to-Read System introduces the 44 sounds of English in a carefully designed hierarchy, starting with the sounds that are the easiest to hear and blend together. This ensures that children are well prepared to work with the sounds that are more difficult to hear by the time they reach them in the program. For children with beginning English skills, this is ideal, particularly as much work is done at the individual sound level before the sounds are put together.
3. To ensure that a particular skill is truly mastered, the child is taken through the activities at each level three times, before moving on to the next level. If necessary, the child is directed to additional activities that will bring a particular skill to mastery. English language learners may require this extra practice to reach the level where the skill is automatic.
4. Though a child with beginning English skills may not understand the directions for the various activities, once they have been explained for the early levels of the program, the child should be able to do the remaining levels with little if any further explanation. (Watch Ooka Island video tutorials available in Spanish and Mandarin.)
5. The library of e-Books included in The Ooka Island Learn-to-Read System use natural language, everyday situations, recurring characters, and a story line right from the beginning.
6. The stories are read to the children as the words in the e-Book are highlighted, giving them exposure to fluent English as they follow the print on the page. A narrator also provides a brief introduction to each story and some discussion of the events as the story is read.
7. The children may also use the “Read” feature to enter the Ooka Island program to read and reread the stories on their own, increasing their understanding of everyday language.
ELL Statistics: Increasing numbers of children in North America come from homes in which English is not the primary language spoken. Currently, English Language Learners (ELL) make up 10% of all US students, but this group is growing more rapidly than the overall student population and has grown 65% since 2003. Projections suggest that in the United States, “English Language Learners will comprise over 40 percent of elementary and secondary students by 2030.”
Learn more about how The Ooka Island Learn-to-Read System is effective for ELL children by following along with our partner schools in South America. If you have any questions regarding Ooka Island’s methodology, you can reach Dr. Kay MacPhee by email at firstname.lastname@example.org