Are you looking for a great solution to teaching your ESL or ELL students? Even at the same time, if needed? Yes Phonics Express has the necessary tools to teach English as a second language and to teach the English language learner. This systematic approach captures all of the essentials to give students of all languages a firm foundation in the areas of writing, spelling, reading, and basic grammar.

A Growing Need

The people at Teach: Make a Difference, say that:

“Teaching English as a Second Language is a high-demand subject of instruction that continues to experience growth in schools across the country. As children from foreign countries continue to immigrate to the United States and enroll in schools here, the number of students whose native language is not English continues to grow.”

National Reading Panel

The National Reading Panel suggests that phonemic awareness, phonics, building vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension are five of the most important components to a reading system for learners of English as a first or second language. The YesPhonics Express program ties all of these and many other parts together by requiring each student to build vocabulary in a notebook that emerges one sound and one syllable at a time. The words are sounded, spelled, written, marked, discussed, reviewed, and used in oral and written sentences. Different than most reading programs, students also learn to spell, write, and read all at the same time, using their newly acquired skills at once.

Phonemic Awareness Through Phonograms

The phonograms, sound symbol relationships, are the building blocks of the entire system. They are the mainstay of the English language, and your students will flourish as they are given these special keys to unlock the mysteries of it. They are also the crucial element/s to understanding phonemic awareness—the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate sounds in spoken words.

Phonics and Building Vocabulary

Students learn to use phonics easily because doing so is built on the foundation of the phonograms that are taught. The vocabulary built in a systematic way, which can also be referred to as the word list or spelling list, is taught by sounding out and writing one sound and one syllable at a time. Those words are practiced every day for fluency and become a type of sight word, but they are not taught like sight words are generally taught.

Fluency and Comprehension

Reading fluency is simply a way to describe how we read: smoothly, accurately, quickly to make sense, and with expression. One of the most effective ways to master fluency is for a student to hear someone reading to them frequently, and for the student to read aloud frequently. Reading fluency also improves as a student learns to say the sounds of words, blend the sounds together, learn to blend syllables, review the words they have learned, and use them in oral and written sentences.

Reading comprehension is the ability to process and understand what is being read. There are many ways to help in this area. Building an understandable vocabulary is one of the biggest. Other tried and true methods to reading comprehension are: asking questions on the material being read, orally or on a quiz or test, language arts activities toward the reading material, and lots of reading practice. Surrounding students with great books at their level and some a little out of reach, but with interesting content are very beneficial.

Children Adopt

Just as children can learn to assimilate on the playground with those of other cultures, with some adult supervision and encouragement, so too can children learn another language for academic advancement with the right tools in place. The account below is not about an ESL student, but I am convinced it could be with the same results.

Nine years ago in a combined 2nd and 3rd grade class I had two new students enter…IN JANUARY. Yikes! This isn’t the best scenario for an early elementary teacher and maybe for the students too, right? It was actually a fairly smooth transition, and not because I’m the greatest teacher or that the two that joined in were the best students. It was because of the method of reading being employed at the time: an Orton-Spalding method similar to Yes Phonics Express. I set the new students up with their materials of a blank spelling notebook and pencil. Then I told them important information like: “Just repeat after me and pretend to move your mouth with everyone else. There is so much review you will catch on more quickly than you can imagine.” And they did. –Pam Fink, Teacher and Educator

A Multi-Sensory Method For All 

I recently talked with one of those two students, who just graduated from high school. She does not remember much, but she remembers having an easy time of it. As a human interest note: what no one knew at the time was that this student only had hearing in one ear. Employing a system that uses all avenues into the brain is very helpful in a situation like that.

The scenario above would have been the same whether the students were English speaking as their first or second language. It all depends on the curricula and how the teacher handles the situation. YesPhonics Express teaches the basic sounds of the English language and the combinations of sounds that they make. A student only needs to be able to mimic the sounds and copy after the teacher.

The entire program is one of modeling by the teacher with the students giving oral and written feedback. Students create an entire spelling notebook this way that becomes a rich tool for review in spelling, reading, basic grammar, and basic writing of sentences and paragraphs. This method is good for learning English from any type of background in languages or learning abilities. The student is always engaged in some way, so classes can be a lively exchange of ideas, creativity, and there is always “much ado about review”. –Pam Fink, Teacher and Educator