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Trend Watch: Credit Recovery for English-Language Learners

Aventa Learning, one of the companies or nonprofits often tapped by schools to provide online courses for credit recovery, has tailored its credit-recovery line for English-language learners, a representative of the company told me last week.

I spoke with Gregg Levin, the vice president of sales for Aventa Learning, while reporting on how several large urban school systems have rolled out or will soon roll out online credit-recovery programs.

He said that the company found that a majority of students needing credit recovery, who must make up classes they failed in high school, are non-native speakers of English or English-language learners. He said the company found a majority of such students were reading below grade level.

Levin said Aventa has tried to lessen the reading demands in the courses and infuse them with "good sound ELL strategies." The company has applied "specially designed academic instruction in English," or SDAIE, which is language used typically in California for instruction in modified English.

Course design for ELLs includes a pre-teaching of vocabulary before every course unit that is available in English and Spanish. The courses also include more graphical tools and organizers than the company's regular line of online courses, Levin said. An audio function permits students to have vocabulary read to them in English or Spanish.

If any of you have used these courses for English-language learners, tell the rest of us how they have panned out.

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