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ESL and ELL Success Stories

Agencies and programs across the country are using CASAS to establish comprehensive performance accountability systems, address core indicators of performance, integrate literacy and occupational skill instruction, and evaluate the effectiveness of ESL/ELL, EL Civics, and Citizenship programs.

Integrating Technology into ESL/EL Civics Programs

Promising Practice: Fremont Adult School has pioneered a new way for students to use technology in its ESL and EL Civics programs in an effective and innovative way. Fremont has successfully integrated technology into their ESL and EL Civics programs through website development, online EL Civics testing, and staff training. Fremont’s EL Civics website (found at, under Resources, EL Civics) contains a wealth of resources for students and instructors. Each teacher has a web page with assignments and supplementary materials for students. Students can access these web pages, and can read lessons about banking, government, health, and other topics related to their classes. The Fremont website also contains a database of lesson plans, outlines and instructional materials for teachers to select and post on their individual sites. Since instructors have a large bank of materials in one place, they can quickly and easily post items on their pages based upon students’ needs.

Agency awarded: Fremont Adult School, 2009

Summary Description of Project:

This Promising Practice was adopted after Fremont started using SchoolWires, a content-based management system. This led to the creation of a new staff position, the ESL Technology Resource Teacher, who helps integrate technology into the school’s ESL program. This Teacher researches new technologies and lessons for the website, and coordinates all of the school’s technological efforts. In addition to the teacher websites and database of instructional materials, Fremont Adult School also uses online EL Civics assessments. This safe and secure system allows students to take EL Civics assessments that have been posted online by the instructor. This innovative testing method has greatly reduced the amount of copying and paper use. Teachers benefit from online testing because they can access an easy-to-read spreadsheet that shows their students’ names, responses, and test scores. Students benefit because they complete EL Civics assessments while gaining valuable computer skills.

Evaluation Process/Results:

Fremont Adult School exceeds the California state performance averages for all ESL levels (in 2006-07 and 2007-08). In 2007-08, 88.7% of EL Civics students passed at least one additional assessment. In a needs assessment survey, students expressed high satisfaction with the technology program. This promising practice continues to evolve, and Fremont Adult School has made every effort to improve the website and online EL Civics assessments based upon the needs of students and teachers. The agency reports that data collection for the EL Civics program is now more streamlined and complete. The agency has also seen an increase in student interest in technology, and that students and instructors are more comfortable integrating technology and ESL/EL Civics curriculum.

For additional information contact:

Yelena Zimon

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