Getting ELL Students Ready for STAAR

ELL students refer to those students who choose to learn the English language in addition to their native language. It can therefore be seen as acquiring a second-language. However, learning a new language isn’t all there is to it because at the same time, students need to have adequate proficiency in the language so that they can then move toward STAAR preparation. Until they have some level of proficiency in the language, going in for these tests will be pointless.  

Lingo Jingo - Helping Students Prepare for The STAAR

Everyone knows that STAAR preparation requires a lot of time and hard work; it certainly isn’t as easy as one might imagine. Luckily for you, Lingo Jingo can help you out. The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) is geared toward testing students from the third to the twelfth standard. These mandatory tests are taken seriously by educators and parents alike as they help ensure that the students are progressing as they should and are meeting the required expectations of that grade.  

For most ELL students going for a STAAR L test is crucial as it helps them judge their proficiency in the language. It is important for ELL students to do well here and get a certain amount of linguistic capability in this version of tests that are linguistically accommodated to the English language. This online testing program will certainly help you to recognise where you stand in learning the language. If students do not do well in the STAAR tests or the STAAR L tests, they may be considered unworthy of joining colleges.  

How Does Lingo Jingo Help?

Though STAAR L prep can be tough, with the help of Lingo Jingo you should be able to come out with flying colours. Lingo Jingo is proud to boast a variety of content as well as extensive courses that are designed to supplement what is being taught in the classroom. There are a lot of resources available on this online platform that students can avail of that will help them in their STAAR L prep work.  

Lingo Jingo has lessons that try and bring together a wide range of topics so that students are not just offered a closeted approach toward their studies but are exposed to various subjects. On this online platform, you will find topics and issues related to those discussed and taught in the classroom along with various other topics which help ELL students understand the mainstream syllabus and relate to the topics which are tested for the STAAR tests.  

So in this manner, by choosing Lingo Jingo as their guide, students will be able to supplement everything that is being taught in class with additional information and activities that help them practice and use what they have just learnt. Joining Lingo Jingo will help you meet your English language acquisition goals while at the same time giving you the necessary training and facilitating your STAAR L preparation.

Education Research: how to "show" your data and tell your story - good tips from a data visualization expert

We just had the pleasure of hearing an excellent presentation on "Data Visualization for Education Research" by Jon Schwabish at the IES PI Meetings. Totally ripping from the bio on the conference materials, "Jon is an economist, writer, teacher, and creator of policy-relevant data visualizations". Which sounds cool - but this part is actually cooler - "he is considered a leading voice for clarity and accessibility related to the ways in which researchers communicate their findings". What does that mean? It means he - in clever and funny ways - tries to educate folks who want to communicate data in the form of (sometimes difficult) research findings in clear and  informative ways. 

As someone who has spent most of their professional life having to present statistical information, albeit more marketing and sales specific, to general audiences, the topic of his presentation applied just as well. Why? Because in these settings I most definitely gave presentations to sell myself or my (or my team's) plan or ideas. I had to explain sometimes abstract and boring data in a clear, engaging and persuasive way. Now that we're in the position of having to present research findings of the impact and efficacy of the Lingo Jingo platform on the education of English Language Learners, his tips and techniques are even more pertinent and will be absolutely front of mind when we need to do so. 

His summary slide in the pic below on the right is pretty succinct (and let's me get away with not having to give a blow by blow list of what he discussed over the course of an hour - yay brevity).

  • Use Good Techniques - don't fall into the trap of making your baby [presentation] any uglier than it may already be (e.g., don't use confusing graphs, don't put too much verbiage on a slide, use a reasonable color scheme, etc.) - YOU tell your story and don't tell your story on your slides, use them as tools to support you
  • Visualize - communicate your data (and get your findings across) in clean, clear and concise graphs or images
  • Unify - keep your messaging and your slide presentation materials aligned and they will help tell a deeper story
  • Focus - keep the content on your presentation slides brief, on point and don't distract your audience

Chances are pretty good that I left out some other great points from Dr. Schwabish's presentation - so you can actually see it in its entirety here (with pictures!). Note: totally worth it, check it out 

jon schwabish (@jschwabish)- economist and data visualization specialist for the urban institute and writes at (click the image)

jon schwabish (@jschwabish)- economist and data visualization specialist for the urban institute and writes at (click the image)



The Every Student Succeeds Act and why it's it's critical for our education system and ELL's

Today we had the great pleasure to hear the incoming US Secretary of Education, John King, Jr. (@JohnKingatEd), speak at the IES meetings we are attending in Washington, DC. During his speech, he discussed the importance of embracing the challenge of closing the achievement gap that exists in our public schools and between our students. While No Child Left Behind had noble goals and intentions to 'level the playing field', it actually caused achievement to fall and pressure to mount at all levels of our education system. Not a good recipe for anybody. One of the (general) changes in the Every Student Succeeds Act is that the States will have more flexibility AND responsibility in setting and implementing their education goals. This is (IMO) good because State Education Agencies (SEA's) are closer to the unique challenges that exist in their classrooms. 

Lingo Jingo is very glad to be supporting the Every Student Succeeds Act and its focus on making accountability for the success of English Language Learner students a priority. Also, as most of us in Lingo Jingo are from deep IT backgrounds, the use of more "evidence based" methods that are to be used to drive decisions at every level of for education, really resonates with us. 

John King, Jr., our next Secretary of Education, speaking aout future of education. 

John King, Jr., our next Secretary of Education, speaking aout future of education. 

To get a GREAT overview of the Every Student Succeeds Act, read the article The Every Student Succeeds Act: Explained from Education Week. It's excellent and provides information on what the Act means for not just ELL's but for SEA's, teachers, administrators, special needs students, funding, and more.

The future is bright!