F. Suazo, B. Graff

Studies show that English-language learners (ELLs) reach the oral proficiency of their English-speaking peers in six to eight years (Collier, 1987, as cited in Graves, Juel, & Graves, 2004, 500). During the early years of language development--kindergarten through third grade--children begin developing reading skills rather quickly. Therefore, English language instruction for ELLs early in their academic career is indispensable. "In most cases it takes an English-language learner as long as five to seven years to perform as well academically as native English-speaking peers.” (Collier & Thomas, 1999; Cummins, 1989, as cited in Drucker, 2003, 23). Since ELL students need much more exposure and repetition than native speakers, repeated readings of texts that are familiar and understandable to them is especially helpful.

This presentation will focus on how ELLs can use mobile timed-reading applications for repeated readings to improve their fluency rate through informal learning and the use of metacognitive strategies. Teachers, tutors and/or learning coaches can guide students to read the texts aloud at their instructional level and then have students use learning logs to reflect on words per minute score, retell the story or answer comprehension questions. The learning log provides a snapshot of students' reading abilities and allows the teachers to share teaching objectives with the student. In this manner, students become actively involved in the process of improving their own reading fluency.

This presentation will examine the innovative use of metacognitive strategies, informal learning, and mobile timed-reading applications to improve English-language learner fluency.
The content presented will include a literature review of research on technology and reading instruction strategies for ELLs. Half the time will be spent presenting information, and the other half will be spent reviewing and discussing examples of timed-reading applications and the adjustments that can be made to facilitate learning for ELLs.