BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Aug. 22, 2011 — According to recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of English Language Learners (ELL) in U.S. schools has doubled over the past decade. Recognizing that more than 20 percent of today's students come to school facing the added challenge of learning English, Pearson today unveiled WriteToLearn 7.0, now with even more support for ELL students.
The only online writing tool that provides automated scoring and immediate feedback to improve both reading comprehension and writing, WriteToLearn offers students an engaging and motivational environment for practicing and refining their skills. With this newest update to the award-winning tool, students whose primary language is Spanish or Chinese will find the instructions for using WriteToLearn and the feedback they receive on their work translated into their native languages. Additional language support tools for all students are available through an embedded dictionary with cross-language translation and text-to-speech functionality that now reads text aloud in Spanish as well as English. WriteToLearn 7.0 also includes new ELL-specific essay prompts and reading passages.
"Teachers around the country tell us that they find WriteToLearn a particularly powerful tool for helping their ELL students develop writing and reading-comprehension skills," said Lynn Streeter, president of the Knowledge Technologies business of Pearson, developer of WriteToLearn. "The increased support for ELL students and enhanced ability for teacher customization in WriteToLearn 7.0 were developed in direct response to that valuable feedback from educators who are using our online learning tool, to ensure that all of their students build strong literacy skills."
To support teachers around the country as they implement WriteToLearn with their students, Pearson is also launching a personalized professional development program with options to meet the needs of school districts of all sizes and demographics. The company's educational consultants partner with schools to provide professional development on using WriteToLearn with all segments of the school population, such as ELLs, gifted students and students with disabilities.
With WriteToLearn 7.0, it is easier than ever for teachers to customize learning for all students. Increased functionality allows teachers to adjust activity settings at the class level, in addition to the individual activity level, and now includes a new language support toggle switch. Also, more than 30 of WriteToLearn's existing essay prompts have been enhanced to provide overall feedback as well as feedback on six traits of writing.
Developed based on more than 15 years of research and evaluation at the University of Colorado and New Mexico State University, WriteToLearn 7.0 is illustrative of Pearson's overall commitment to collaborating with educators to develop next-generation assessments that will improve student achievement.
Schools and districts with current WriteToLearn accounts will receive the update free of charge. WriteToLearn is available for purchase on a concurrent or individual student license basis, with district-level subscriptions now available.
WriteToLearn qualifies for federal funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. For more information, visit www.WriteToLearn.net.
Pearson (NYSE:PSO), the global leader in education services, education technology and school solutions, provides innovative print and digital education materials for preK through college, student information systems and learning management systems, teacher professional development, career certification programs, and testing and assessment products that set the standard for the industry. Pearson's other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group. For more information, go to www.pearsonassessments.com.
For more information:
Adam Gaber, Pearson, 800-745-8489 / firstname.lastname@example.org / @apgaber (twitter)