Limited English proficient students are at risk and need of assistance at Lansing schools

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By Teresa Gebhardt
Lansing Star staff writer

Representatives of Everett High School proposed a bid at the Lansing School District Finance meeting on July 26, 2011, that the district purchase software from Rosetta Stone Ltd. For a cost of $19,500 to aid their English Language Learners (ELL).

Committee member Guillermo Lopez and Chairman Jack Davis

“ It is absolutely an excellent program” Said Robert Dalton, The bilingual teacher at Everett.

Currently all Lansing school district servers have access to the Rosetta Stone program levels 1 and 2, however Everett wishes to purchase additional levels of the software to better serve its ELL students in the English as a second language (ESL) classrooms.

“ So what is the issue if the students have the first two levels, what are you trying to accomplish with the next level?” Said Chairman Jack Davis, who, along with the finance committee is the ultimate deciding factor if this bid will succeed.

Dalton has been using Rosetta Stone for only this past school year, due to a delay set-up in computer labs.

“We want these students to progress, and that builds through prior knowledge, if an English kid takes algebra 1 wouldn’t you want them to take algebra 2?” said Dalton.

Everett is currently the only school in the district using this language software. “If this program shows academic success why aren’t other schools in the district using it?” said Davis.

Everett High School located on 3900 Stabler Street in Lansing. photo credited by Everett Homepage

Michael Casey, the strategic account manager for schools K-12 in Michigan and Ohio was present at the meeting in support of this bid.

“ Rosetta stone, Ltd. Has developed and will supply a library of interactive software products for District’s students and staff, Hopefully we will crack other schools, and I will be back here soon to call out the demand of this program” said Casey.

Dalton teaches English as a second language and is a fan of Rosetta because it “differentiates the curriculum and lets students work at their own pace” said Dalton.

Megan Richter, the Public Relations manager at Rosetta stone provides evidence as to if this software is effective.

“Rosetta Stone Classroom is the most effective language-learning solution on the market, and has been proven through case studies and evaluations. It is used by millions of learners around the world—from individuals, to corporate clients like NASA, The US Military and over 10,000 schools. Our complete, immersion-based language-learning solution is the closest and most feasible alternative to going abroad to learn a second language.” Said Richter.

Photo credited by Megan Richter

Teachers can effectively support students using this tool to:

• Diagnose student needs

• Provide supplemental lessons

• Monitor progress

• Measure student learning

“Our solution is all about interaction, and at every step you have to actively demonstrate your understanding of the new language. This continual engagement is what keeps K-12, and mature learners alike successful in their language acquisition,” said Richter.

This software program offers English Language acquisition for the basic and intermediate levels of ELL students at Everett.

“As a teacher my biggest concern was that students would not want to trial and error their new language in front of other students, but because they have the equipment of microphones and headphones, students are engaged; The kids participation increased, as well as their confidence” said Dalton.

“The objective is to immerse students in English software programs in addition to their daily English as a second language (ESL) classroom instructions,” said Casey.

Overall, this particular Rosetta Stone Program aims to increase the student’ at Everett’s English comprehension and support their academic success.

After a thorough discussion Chairman Davis Approved the recommendation of the $19,500 bid. “It is nice of the board to finally find out about something,” said Davis.

Everett High School’s Homepage:

http://everett.lansingschools.net/pages/Everett_HS

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