How to Add Language Learning to Your After-School Program

It’s no secret that America’s English Language Learner population is growing at an almost-exponential rate. As the ELL population grows, so does that segment’s use of after-school programs.

The ability of ELLs to quickly learn and utilize the English language could be the difference between slipping through the cracks and assimilating into the general student population and experiencing success, particularly in regard to the new Common Core State Standards and their required assessments.

Perhaps it’s time to keep these students and their needs in mind when considering a 21st Century Community Learning Center grant.

As you know, the 21st CCLC program is a federal grant designed to help community learning centers serving low-income neighborhoods and students during non-school hours. What you may not know is that the program has categories designed specifically for ideas meant to address language learning. That’s where ELLs, and Rosetta Stone, come in.

The Rosetta Stone® solution qualifies for the 21st CCLC program by:
• Providing programs that deliver after school activities for limited-English-proficient students that emphasize language skills and academic achievement
• Promoting parental involvement and family literacy
• Providing telecommunications and technology-based education programs

Here are some tips to consider as you prepare your grant application:
1. Consult the Rosetta Stone website or ask your local representative for links to the wealth of information we’ve made available regarding the efficacy and success of the program, both in classroom settings and outside of school.
2. Consider the benefits that you would be able to provide with the grant that your local schools cannot, including the variety of languages you would be able to offer with proven technology-based learning.
3. Think deeply about the details of any new program. How often would the system be used? As part of a formal class or for independent study?
4. Finally, make sure to mention the outcomes you foresee for the program. How will it benefit the students, parents, and neighborhood as a whole? How will the students’ educational trajectory be changed?

It’s time to prepare your program for a future that will have to include opportunities for non-English-proficient students. It’s also time to avail yourself of the opportunities currently provided by your federal and state governments to address the needs of this important and growing segment of the population.

The Next Level
What are some other ways that your after-school program is helping ELL students? Share your ideas in the comments section below.

For more information about how the Rosetta Stone solution benefits students in a variety of educational environments and programs, check out our case studies. You can also download this informative webinar to discover how your after school program can make time for language learning.

To find out more about the Rosetta Stone® TOTALe® PRO solution for language-learning classrooms, please visit our K-12 website.

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