Listenwise for English Learners is a two year pilot of online subscriptions to Listenwise Premium for English learners at North Tahoe School and Alder Creek Middle School. Many TTUSD middle school teachers already use the free version of Listenwise with their classes, but the premium version would offer some features that we think would be especially beneficial to English learners. With the free version, teachers can access curated podcasts for the classroom and daily current events which they can share to Google Classroom. The premium version offers the following features; interactive transcripts, listening comprehension quizzes, assessment reporting by listening skill (inference, main idea, etc.), standards-aligned lessons, differentiated assignment creation, reduced speed audio, close listening with language practice, tiered vocabulary, student choice of stories and progress monitoring. These features will improve accessibility and monitoring for English Learners.
Listenwise provides authentic listening resources which engage ELs in content that improves their level of proficiency and helps them gain meaning when using English. It motivates students by providing content that they want to understand, and engagement and enjoyment are highly correlated with achievement in all areas of literacy. Listening to stories on a variety of topics provides students with exposure to a wide range of academic language. It has been shown that incidental exposure to vocabulary through listening to stories helps students learn the meaning of unknown words. Research also shows that on average students can listen 2-3 grade levels above what they can read. Oral language skills and recognizing words when listening are the foundation for the development of the more-advanced language skills needed for comprehension.
The premium version allows teachers to use tools to slow the rate of speech, provide subtitles and interactive transcripts. I have used a demo of the premium version and the additional tools were very useful for students struggling to understand English. The premium version also have a progress monitoring piece that will allow us to collect data on the effectiveness of the program.
English Learner coordinators and English Language Development (ELD) teachers will be the group that will primarily pilot this program. We know that the free version is widely used and very high quality. The premium version seems to have tools that will be key for ensuing that teachers can differentiate for the needs of English learners. The embedded progress monitoring will allow for easy data collection and the ability to track student growth.
EL coordinators and ELD teachers will receive training/professional development on using the program (included in the subscription) and we will use the data from the progress monitoring piece in our PLC (professional Leaning community) meetings once a month to guide the use of the subscription, and to refine instructional practices.
Yes, the great thing about this subscription is that is follows the student in all classes, so each teacher that has that student can use the premium resources for that student. This would mean that if the student was assigned an article in Listenwise, they would have access to all of the resources that make it more accessible and meaningful, including; interactive transcripts, listening comprehension quizzes, differentiated assignment creation, reduced speed audio, and tiered vocabulary. This would also give teachers access to these tools when using Listenwise with the whole class.