CAPIT Reading's Unique Technological and Curricular Support of English Language Learners

ELL (English Language Learner): An individual who is in the process of actively acquiring English, and whose primary language is one other than English.
— COMMON ELL TERMS AND DEFINITIONS, English Language Learner Center American Institutes for Research®

English Language Learners
According to the United States Census Bureau, over 350 languages are spoken in U.S. homes, with over 150 languages spoken in many of the country’s largest metro areas. Many children growing up in these homes are classified as “English Language Learners (ELLs),” which is defined as students who are “in the process of actively acquiring English” and whose “primary language is one other than English.”

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, “More than 4.9 million English learners (EL) were enrolled in U.S. public elementary and secondary schools during the 2013-14 school year, representing just over ten percent of the total student population.”

According to some estimates, ELL students will make up as much as 25% of the student population within the next 10 years.

ELL students are four times as likely to drop out of high school than native English speakers, and 92% of 4th grade ELL students scored below proficient in reading.


EdTech Solutions
Technology has the potential to support ELL students by translating content to the home language of the student, or offering scaffolding to assist the learning process.

But technology alone is not a silver bullet.

How can a technology support 150 languages? And how does it offer consistent support of teachers through professional development that is so vital to the success of any ELL product?

The First Language Agnostic Digital Reading Program

Language Agnostic refers to aspects of programming that are independent of any specific programming language.
— Programming Slang

CAPIT Reading teaches students the foundations of reading, but is the only app that does so without “verbal instructions." Students play with sounds and intuitively create letters, words, and sentences. Because the app teaches without verbal instructions it is “language agnostic” and naturally accommodates students of all backgrounds, giving all students a shared learning experience.

Our approach solves the need of translating our system into various languages. Because CAPIT Reading is “language agnostic” it does not instruct in any language and automatically accommodates speakers of all languages. Because Teachers do not modify CAPIT for their ELL students they do not need to undergo extra training to accommodate their ELL students.

Aside from addressing a fundamental academic need, CAPIT Reading addresses a social-emotional need: making ELL students feel valued and “at home” by giving them the opportunity of using the same application as their peers. Other literacy applications require ELL students to don their headphones and learn in a foreign language. With CAPIT Reading, ELL students are using the same application and in the same manner as their classmates. Native English speaking students and ELL students can now play and learn together. This enhances their self-confidence and fosters relationships between students of all backgrounds.