Assistive Technology Helps ESL Students

Assistive Technology Gadgets
Assistive Technology Gadgets

A 4th grade teacher in Montgomery Public Schools in Maryland found a struggle between what her students were expected to gain from reading and what they actually understood.  She found the biggest challenge to be apparent among the English Language Learners and English as a Second Language Learners in that they were able to read fluently, but could not understand what they were reading.

She began to take a look and research ways to improve reading comprehension at the elementary level for English Language Learners and English as a Second Language Learners.  She chose to use assistive technologies for digital fluency research to answer the following questions:

  • Would the use of the assistive technology (AT) in small groups improve the reading and writing skills of low to mid-level readers?
  • Could a text reader improve reading comprehension?
  • Could the use of AT tools improve students’ attitudes towards reading?
  • Could the use of word prediction (supportive writing tools) increase writing quantity and improve writing quality?

During her research, she noticed that when students were able to use a text reader to read the information aloud to them, students were able to comprehend the text easier.  Students produced higher quality work and showed more motivation while using the text reader.  The use of assistive technology helped students to stay focused and improved self esteem.

To find out more about this teacher’s research and the assistive technology she used, visit the Educator’s Royal Treatment Website.

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