iLEAD Exploration Remains Open Virtually for Learners

iLEAD Exploration continues to operate its independent study model in an entirely virtual format.

Feb 1, 2021 @ 18:00

EL Newsletter

Our News & Events

Summative ELPAC

Summative ELPAC

Our testing window for the Summative ELPAC is open and our assessments are underway for all our English Language Learners this year through online and remote platforms. Thank you to those who have already tested, and we appreciate those who are testing soon!

If you missed our webinar outlining the Summative ELPAC and what families can expect, you can watch it here. Below are some tips and reminders for each of the domains tested through the ELPAC. Take practice tests together with your learner to get them familiar with the test and question types.

Speaking Domain

  • Remember to speak clearly and in English to receive credit for your answer.
  • Add details to your answer! The more information you can convey, the higher your will score.
  • Ask for the questions to be repeated if you are unsure of how to answer.

Listening Domain

  • You can listen to each part only once, so pause and take notes as needed.
  • Preview the questions ahead of time so that you can listen for specific information.

Reading Domain

  • Read the passage first. Read the questions. Then reread the passage looking for the specific answers.
  • Read all the answer choices and eliminate ones that are incorrect.

Writing Domain

  • For 3rd grade and higher, practice typing sentences and paragraphs in a Word document.
  • Review what a basic paragraph contains: opening sentence, detail sentences, and a closing sentence.
  • Carefully read the directions and make sure you are answering questions correctly.
  • Edit your writing before submitting (check for correct capitalization, punctuation, grammar, and spelling).

Overall Tips

  • Take your time and ask questions. The test administrator is there to support you.
  • If you get overwhelmed, you can take a break. Let the examiner know.
  • Do your best!

Some Awesome EL Resources



BrainPOP is a free subscription Exploration offers its English language learners. It is a comprehensive English language learning program for all grade levels. Please reach out to your EF if you have not set up your BrainPOP account yet. This program starts with a placement test based on each learner’s skills. As your child works through the content, they will develop their English skills. This will help with success in all academic areas.

iLEAD’s Hub

Our password-protected Hub introduces our EL team and provides many resources to help our learners find success.

ESL Galaxy

This is a free, one-step site that contains many resources including flashcards, worksheets, board games, and lesson plans.

ESL Video

This website provides free quizzes, lessons, and online conversation classes for English learners.

Preparing Learners for the Future


The article “Using Motivation Sources to Guide Students to Their Ideal Careers” reminds educators (homeschooling families!) that we are preparing learners for their future, a future we can’t really imagine, with jobs that do not even exist today.

Here are some important takeaways from this great online article:

Technology is the way of the future, and we need to give our children skills to embrace technology. Some of these skills include the following:

  • Mental Elasticity: Thinking outside the box
  • Complex Problem-Solving: Thinking about complicated problems and coming up with innovative solutions
  • Critical Thinking: Synthesizing information from several sources and drawing meaningful conclusions
  • Creativity: Thinking abstractly, coming up with new ideas, diagnosing and solving problems
  • People Skills: Connecting with people everywhere, all over the world
  • Interdisciplinary Knowledge: Being able to pull information and skill sets from multiple sources

Inspirational Quotes to Share with Your Learners

“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” — Abraham Lincoln

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” — A.A. Milne

“Learn from yesterday. Live for today. Hope for tomorrow.” – Albert Einstein

Learner Spotlight: Juan Munoz “Jr.”


What is your favorite saying in your native language?

My favorite saying is “Que si” because it’s very funny when I say it to my dad when I play around.

What is a family tradition that you enjoy?

Every year in December, we go to this place called Candy Cane Lane. We go with the family to see the lights and walk while we’re drinking hot chocolate.

What career would you like to have?

I would like to have a job making video games or toys.

What is your favorite subject?

I like science because you can see cool reactions and experiments.

Has being multilingual allowed you any special opportunities?

No, I don’t think so. I get treated the same as others.

What is your favorite hobby?

My favorite hobby is to build Legos, look at science experiments on YouTube, and puzzles.

What advice would you give to someone trying to learn a new language?

There’s help everywhere. It will get hard, but it will get better. Don’t worry—you’ll get it.

How long have you been homeschooling?

Almost a year.

What do you like about homeschooling?

I get to stay at home and be comfortable. And I like the classes given to me because I like the kids in my class.

Learner Spotlight – Mya Felix

Learner Spotlight

Mya is a first grade learner who started homeschooling in March of last year. She likes homeschooling because she is able to do her school work in her pajamas. She also gets to go to the library whenever she wants. Her favorite part about learning from home is that she gets to spend time with her mommy and baby brother.

What languages do you speak?

I speak English and Spanish. I am also learning sign language.

What is your favorite saying in your native language?

“Panza llena corazón contento!” In English, this means, “Having a full stomach makes your heart happy!”

What is a family tradition that you enjoy?

Family game time and the altar for Day of the Dead.

What career would you like to have?

I want to be a firefighter and a painter.

What is your favorite subject?

Math is my favorite, and working on Explode the Code.

Has being multilingual allowed you any special opportunities?

Yes, it helps me talk to “Tita” (Grandma) and my cousins from Mexico.

What is your favorite hobby?

Painting and playing with my toys.

What advice would you give to someone trying to learn a new language?

Listen to music in the new language.

ELPAC Summative Test

ELPAC Summative Test

Beginning in February, English language learners will take the summative ELPAC. The English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) is California’s assessment system that is used to determine the English language proficiency of learners whose primary language is not English. The ELPAC assesses four domains: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The summative ELPAC measures how well a learner is progressing with English development in each of the four domains. To support these domains, the EL team has added some family activities to this newsletter. Additionally, the iLEAD Exploration website has a database of activities to support each of these domains. Simply click on this link, log into the Hub, and search the EL resource database.

The summative assessment is given to learners in grades TK–12 who have been identified as English learners. These learners continue to take the assessment annually until they are reclassified as fluent English proficient. In order to be considered proficient in English and reclassify, a learner must score a 4 on each of the four domains AND score a “meets or exceeds” standard on the ELA portion of the SBAC or “meets or exceeds” the grade level norm on MWEA MAP.

Parents/guardians cannot opt their child out of the ELPAC. State law (California Education Code section 313 and California Education Code section 60810 ) and Federal Law Titles I and Ill of the Every Student Succeeds Act require that all students whose primary language is other than English be assessed for English language proficiency.

This year, our EL team will be providing a webinar for learners to join and learn test-taking strategies and tips to be successful on the summative ELPAC. This will be coming in early February. We hope you will join us!

Family Activities to Support Listening


  1. Telephone: This is a classic game for working on listening. Start with one sentence, and whisper it to the person next to you. That person will whisper what they heard to the next person. The final person says the sentence they heard out loud. This kind of game works especially well with larger groups. You can also use this game to demonstrate how stories change as rumors spread.
  2. Freeze Dance: This game requires children to listen for the music stopping AND to stop their bodies. This is a good way to work on impulse control as well. Pick a fun song, stopping it occasionally and seeing who freezes their bodies. Try to hide the music source so no one can see when you are about to stop the music.
  3. Mother, May I? The person who is the “mother” stands on one end of a space/room, while the other players line up at the other end. Each player takes a turn asking if they can move (for example, “Mother, may I take three giant steps forward?”). There is a lot of fun listening here! This game is also great for following directions and taking turns being the leader.
  4. Simon Says: This game requires listening for a certain phrase and then moving only when the leader includes “Simon says” (for example, “Simon says place your hands on your head.”) This is another game that works on controlling impulses, and players can take turns being the leader.
  5. Tell a Group Story: The first person starts a story with one sentence. Then the next person adds onto the story, and it continues until everyone has contributed at least one sentence to the story. (For smaller groups, you can go around two or three times.) This requires listening to what has already been said and making connections, as well as working together as a group.
  6. Online Listening Activities: In the Hub section of iLEAD Exploration’s website, there are many recommended listening activities to support EL learners. Simply click on this link, log into the Hub, and search the EL resources by category (domain).

Family Activities to Support Reading

TK-1 Read Aloud

  1. Tall Tales: The Game of Infinite Storytelling: There are several ways to play this storytelling game. One is the tell-a-group-story method, where players randomly select a few of the playing pieces and then one scene card is turned over. Each player takes a turn adding to the story, integrating one of their playing pieces into the story each time. The stories get very creative and silly.
  2. Boggle: If your kids like word searches, then Boggle is their game. Shake the letters and see how many words can be found in a short amount of time. The real challenge is finding words that other players do not spot. Shake and repeat.
  3. Apples to Apples Junior: In this game, there are two stacks of cards. The green set contains descriptive words, such as kind, cool, and bold. The red set contains people, places, things, and events. In each round, players choose the best red card from their hand to complement the green card word. The judge selects the favorite played card as the winner of the round.
  4. Bananagrams: In this addictive word game, speed wins, not points. Participants race to build joined-up words using all of their tiles. When any player uses all of their letters, they shout “Peel!” and every player takes on a new tile, meaning everyone has to quickly rebuild their word grid!
  5. Scrabble Game: Scrabble, the classic crossword game, is loads of fun for friends and family. You can feel the excitement begin as soon as you rack up your letters, choose a great word, and hope to land on a triple-word score. Play the popular Scrabble game the classic way as you take on opponents for a challenging and fun time, whether you’re a beginner or an expert.
  6. Online Reading Activities: In the Hub section of iLEAD Exploration’s website, there are many recommended reading activities to support EL learners. Simply click on this link, log into the Hub, and search the EL resources by category (domain).

Family Activities to Support Writing


  1. Storytelling: In this game, you need only paper and pencils so that everyone can write a story together. On a board, write the first sentence of the tale. Then, over the next two minutes, the participants will write down the next step of the story. After two minutes, the paper is passed to someone else, who will continue the story. These papers circulate a few times until the story is completed. Enjoy sharing the different and funny stories that were created.
  2. Birthday Cards: Every time there is a family birthday or special event, have your children write a birthday or holiday card. This will make them speak their thoughts about their family members as well as encourage them to write.
  3. Comic Strip Fun: This activity is better for older children who already know how to read and write, especially if they like storytelling. Collect some comic strips for your children and ask them to fill out the dialogue bubbles (which should be blank to begin with). Then challenge them to make it more exciting. They can also draw with crayons to make more colors and liven up the comic strip.
  4. Write Until Wrong: Players start writing a list of words. They may write any words they choose but must stop when they misspell a word. If in doubt whether a player has made a spelling error, consult a dictionary. Count the number of words spelled correctly before the first mistake. That is the player’s score. When everyone is ready, start a new round and have players write new lists. Players could try to beat their previous best scores or win the game by achieving a higher score than the other players. Alternatives include choosing categories of words that may be on lists, such as five-letter words, items you could buy in a store, colors, adjectives, verbs, etc. The same basic game could be played by having participants write stories until they make their first spelling mistake and then counting the words successfully written.
  5. Write What You Want: Each morning, have your child write a list of things he or she wants to do that day. The list should be in sentences. Examples: “After breakfast I want to go to Billy’s house!” or “This afternoon I want to go swimming.” Help your child spell any words as needed. When finished, have the child read the list to you.
  6. Online Writing Activities: In the Hub section of iLEAD Exploration’s website, there are many recommended listening activities to support EL learners. Simply click on this link, log into the Hub, and search the EL resources by category (domain).

Family Activities to Support Speaking


1. Guess the Object: This is a fun game for kids to practice the power of description. Cut a hole in a box that is large enough for their hands. Make sure they understand that they are not allowed to peek into the hole. Place an object in the box. Have the child describe what the object feels like and guess what the object might be.

2. Picture Telling: Collect a variety of pictures. Give each participant a time limit and let them describe what they see in story form. During this exercise, they are processing visual cues and using their ability to speak about them to someone else. The other players practice their listening skills.

3. Guess Who: Each player chooses a secret character and takes turns asking each other yes/no questions about characteristics in order to narrow down the choices and guess the other person’s secret character first.

4. Headbanz: Kids love playing this game because everybody gets to look silly with a headband on their head. Each player draws a card with a food/person/animal/item and, without looking at it, places it on their headband so all other players can see it. Players must ask questions about the picture on their card, remember the answers, and use this knowledge to guess who/what they are.

5. Scattergories: In the original version of this game, a dice is rolled to reveal a letter of the alphabet. All players have a list of categories (food, famous person, movie title, etc.) and must try to write down something that starts with the letter to fit each category. The goal is to be as creative as possible. (If someone else wrote down the same word as you, both of you must cross it out!) The player with the highest number of original answers wins the round.

6. Online Speaking Activities: In the Hub section of iLEAD Exploration’s website, there are many recommended speaking activities to support EL learners. Simply click on this link, log into the Hub, and search the EL resources by category (domain).

Meet Your EL Team


Name/Role: Stephanie Casolara, EF and EL Coordinator
Location: Yucca Valley (near Joshua Tree National Park)
Family: Two energetic, awesome boys, ages eight and five.
Interests or Hobbies: I love to read, run, and hike, along with rock scrambling.
Fun Fact: I was born and raised in Upstate New York. I came to California to teach and absolutely love the Southern California desert life.





Name: Amri Gallardo, EF and EL Support
Location: San Fernando Valley
Family: Husband Bruno, daughters Grace and Faith, turtle Pepe Pepino, hamsters Rocky and Drago.
Interests: Watching MMA and 90-Day Fiancé. (It is the story of my life because I got engaged six weeks after meeting my husband and then brought him over to the US. I don’t recommend it, and I use the show as a teaching tool for my daughters.)
Fun Fact: I used to be an aircraft mechanic before becoming a teacher.




Name/Role: Jennifer Billig, EF and EL Support
Location: Yucca Valley
Family: Husband, a six-year old daughter, an eight-year old son, one German shepherd.
Interests or Hobbies: I enjoy running, hiking, camping, music, and watching The Office or crime shows.
Fun Fact: I backpacked across Ireland and Scotland for a month with my husband.





Name/Role: Jennifer Hudson, EF and EL Support
Location: Central Los Angeles
Family: I live with my husband and two daughters in a craftsman bungalow southwest of downtown.
Interests or Hobbies: In my free time, I enjoy reading, hiking, birdwatching, and doing arts and crafts.
Fun Fact: I am learning to play the cello.





Name/Role: Jennifer Ramirez, EF and EL Support
Location: Lake Forest
Family: Married to Alex, and we have three kids who are ten, eight, and five years old.
Interest/Hobbies: I enjoy baking, sports, and traveling.
Fun Fact: After backpacking through Spain for a month, I returned home, sold my car, resigned from LA Unified, and decided to return to live and teach in Madrid, Spain.




Name/Role: Lorraine Kajikawa, EF and EL Support
Location: Torrance
Family: Married to my wonderful husband, Gavin, with two beautiful daughters, eight and ten years old.
Interests or Hobbies: I love creating and caring for my succulent arrangements and propagating succulents. I also enjoy baking all kinds of baked goods!
Fun Fact: I once “climbed” the Great Wall of China!




Name/Role: Patty Plascencia, EF and EL Support
Location: Chino
Family: I’ve been married for nineteen years to my hubby, Orlando, and we have three beautiful homeschooled girls: Abby, Keilah, and Roxana.
Interests or Hobbies: I love adventures, especially, trying new foods and going to new places! I enjoy reading and love finding great deals!
Fun Fact: Complete strangers let me borrow their newborn baby. I like babies!

Hispanic Heritage Month

Hight School Clubs and Organizations

Every year from September 15 to October 15, we honor our ancestors from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America during Hispanic Heritage Month.

September 15 was chosen as the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month because it marks the anniversary of the independence of Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile also celebrate their independence during this period on September 16 and September 18.

To help honor this amazing culture, we are including some resources that you may want to investigate:

PBS Learning Media

Scholastic: Celebrate Hispanic Heritage

Hispanic Heritage Book Ideas

NEA: Hispanic Heritage Month

Teaching Central America

Teaching Tolerance: Latino Civil Rights Timeline

ELAC Meetings 2020-2021


The English Language Advisory Committee (ELAC) is a school-level committee of parents, staff, and community members designated to advise school officials on English learner programs and services. Each school with 21 learners must form an ELAC and the committee must meet at least four times a year.

The dates of iLEAD Hybrid’s (of which iLEAD Exploration is a program) ELAC meetings are on Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. on the following dates:

  • November 19 at 9:30 a.m.
  • January 14 at 9:30 a.m.
  • February 11 at 9:30 a.m.
  • May 13 at 9:30 a.m.

We want parents to join these meetings, as the purpose is to support families and learners. iLEAD will send out a survey so families can indicate topics they would like to cover at meetings this year. These are public meetings, and all are welcome. At the next meeting, we will elect the following officers: President (Chair), Vice President (Vice Chair), and Secretary. If any voting takes place, only the parents/guardians of English language learners can vote. We want your voices heard.

The agenda and log-in information will be sent via email to EL families a few days prior to each meeting. Here are the minutes from our first meeting of the school year.

Tips for Building an English Vocabulary

Meet the Team

Learning the vocabulary of any new language is considered to be the key to understanding what learners hear or read during the school day. It is very helpful for English language learners to build their English vocabulary as quickly as possible to increase learning of both the English language and new concepts and ideas.

  1. Parents should try to speak English at home at some point each day. It is very difficult for students to learn a new language if the language is not reinforced at home consistently.
  2. Read aloud (or use a website that reads aloud) with your student in both English and their native language each day.
  3. Encourage your student to continue to read for pleasure in their own language even while learning English.
  4. Have your student create a scrapbook, journal, or diary of their time in the United States.
  5. Help your student make a personal dictionary with vocabulary words they are learning.
  6. Use art to increase English vocabulary.
  7. Watch appropriate English language television programs or DVDs with your student or use singalong or storybook music tapes.
  8. Commit to learning English with your student.
  9. Use Rosetta Stone Classroom each day to practice English.
  10. Use the internet to find and access websites with ESL practice activities.Practice makes perfect!

Things to remember:

  1. Learning a new language takes time to comprehend and practice. Be realistic about how quickly your student can progress and be patient!
  2. Making mistakes is part of the learning process.
  3. Students are both active and passive learners. They typically “understand” and “recognize” new English words before they are comfortable “speaking” or “writing” them. This is a normal part of the process of acquiring a second language.
  4. English language learners cannot absorb everything they are exposed to every day. It takes time!

English language learners typically improve their English proficiency at an amazing pace. We are so proud of them!

EL Supports on iLEAD Exploration’s Website

Presenting Online Curriculum Options for High Schoolers another idea

The EL team has developed resources for EL learners on its website. To view, go to iLEAD Exploration’s home page and log into the Hub. On the Hub Quick menu page, select English Language Learners and you will find a whole page dedicated to everything EL! You can meet our EL staff, learn about ELPAC testing, find ELAC meeting agendas/minutes, read EL newsletters, and search resources specific for EL learners.

Additionally, did you know that our Exploration website can be translated into several different languages? Simply scroll down to the bottom of the page, and click on the “Translate” button. From there, choose your home language. It is important to note that the translate feature is not able to translate documents (PDFs, Google docs, etc.) that are viewable on the website.



Every English Language Learner will have access to BrainPOP EL. You can watch this video to learn more about the program. More information coming soon.

Speaking Activities


Speaking is usually thought of as the most important of the four skills. Below is a list of activities to enhance a learner’s ability to speak English.

Describe a Picture
Using the two links below, learners are able to look at daily pictures and graphs and describe what is happening in each picture or graph. For each picture, there are guiding questions for the learner to think about and answer. The learner also has the option to read how others respond to the picture/graph. When describing a picture, think about answering who, what, where, when and why.

What is It?
Place 5 objects on the table under a towel or blanket. Describe each object and let your partner guess what it is you are describing, then switch.

Sentence ideas:
The object I have is (heavy/light).
It is used in the (room).

Give your learner a statement. Have your learner think about whether or not he agrees or disagrees with the statement. The learner writes notes defending his statement. Have your learner present multiple reasons why he agrees or disagrees with the statement.

Example: The Summer Olympics are better than the Winter Olympics.
Sentence starters:
I think….
I believe….
The _____ is better than ____ because….
In my opinion…..
I think that…for example…

Listening Activities


Listening is an essential skill that we use daily. Listening takes different forms in different situations. You listen in a classroom, an airport, in a conversation, while watching television, and while listening to the radio. Below is a list of activities to help improve your listening skills.

Music 101
Listen to any song, and write down any similes you hear.
Example: “And it seems to me you lived your life like a candle in the wind”
Are there any metaphors you hear? What about personification, hyperbole or irony?

Storyline Online
Listen to a story online.

Unite for Literacy
Listen to a story online with the option to listen to the story in different languages.

Listen and Draw
This site has some audio files of vocabulary and scenarios that learners can listen to. Learners can draw the pictures or descriptions on a blank piece of paper as they listen to the vocabulary. Learners can also draw a picture as they listen to a story.

TED Talks
Ted Talks are a great resource for advanced or intermediate ELL learners. Have your learner listen to a Ted Talk two times through. For the first time, have them share the main idea. For the second time, have them listen for and then share opinions and facts.

The Walking Classroom is offering 26 free educational podcasts right now (due to Covid-19)! Their program is simple…take a 20-minute walk while you listen to a podcast! Each podcast comes with a health-awareness message and includes a character value within the narrative. It also includes discussion questions, key vocabulary, and quizzes. It is great for ELL students and catered to grades 3-8.

Reading Activities

Reading Strategies and Reading Strategies - Workshop in Tustin another option

Comprehension is the goal of reading. This skill can be extremely difficult for EL learners due to limited vocabulary and limited background knowledge. Learners should read or be read to daily. Here are a few activities that support EL learners and their reading comprehension.

Determine Main Idea and Details
Use the flower writing graphic organizer to help a learner determine the main idea and details of a passage.

Building Background Knowledge
All students learn better when they first access what they already know. Use a KWL Chart to activate prior knowledge. Learners already have experiences and knowledge that they can build upon.

Expanding your vocabulary is a great way to improve your comprehension skills. Vocabulary Coil is an interactive site that you may want to check out.

Interactive Games
Let learning be interactive! These games are engaging and will help build critical reading skills. The games are easy to understand and help build a child’s vocabulary, grammar, and comprehension skills. You can find something for every grade level and English proficiency skills.

ESL Fast

Learn English Kids


ESL Fun Games

Mr. Nussbaum Learning


Writing Activities


There is an important correlation between writing and language development. Learners often develop listening skills first, then speaking, then reading, and lastly writing. Writing requires a large amount of language processing in order to produce a message.

Writing Jar
Many learners perceive writing as a chore. Make it fun with a writing jar! Grab a jar or a container and fill it with a variety of prompts. Make them creative, fun, silly, serious, thought provoking, etc. The idea is to have a big range of prompts. Use them as a daily journal activity or as a way to teach the writing process: brainstorm, first draft, revisions, final draft. Have fun!

Cinquain Poems
Cinquain poems offer great flexibility and help the learner focus on parts of speech. The basic formula is:
One noun
Two adjectives
Three gerunds (words + ing)
A short sentence.
A one-word summary

Organize Your Thoughts
Use the hamburger writing graphic organizer to help organize the learner’s thoughts when writing a paragraph.

Ask Questions Through Family Discussions
Discuss with your learner about places you visit, work you do, books you read or TV shows you watch together. Talk to your learner about their ideas for writing. In order to write about something your learner needs to be able to talk about it first. Ask specific questions about your child’s writing such as, “How did that happen?”, “How did that make you feel?”, or “Can you tell me more about that?”

Encourage Your Child to Keep a Reflective Journal
Have them write about their personal feelings, pleasures and disappointments. Parents, share your own feelings and ideas paired with positive feedback about your learner’s writing.

Start a Vocabulary Notebook
Use a vocabulary sheet to teach your learner new words each week and encourage him/her to use them. Make it into a game and give points for using the new words.

Learner Spotlight: Ami Kharitonov

May Spotlight

Ami Kharitonov is graduating from middle school this year and will be a freshman with iLEAD Exploration. He has been with iLEAD since 2016 and speaks English and some Russian. Ami’s interests are stop motion animation and mixed martial arts. He is at a senior premier level with the National Children’s Chorus.
Name: Ami Kharitonov

What languages do you speak?
English and some Russian

What is your favorite saying in your native language?

What is a family tradition that you enjoy?
Passover – Hide the Matzah tradition. Adults hide the matzo around in a room and children try to find it. Whoever finds it gets a prize.

What career would you like to have? How would being bilingual help you in your career?
Animation and film production. Russian would help in making friends.

What is your favorite subject? Why?
History is my favorite subject as you learn about facts and reasons in the form of stories.

Has being multilingual allowed you any special opportunities?
Yes, you can have private conversations with someone in public.

What is your favorite hobby?
Stop motion animation.

What advice would you give to someone trying to learn a new language?
Practice consistently. You can take breaks when learning a new language, but longer breaks will make you forget the material.

Popular Apps for English Learners

Phone App

Using technology can be very beneficial for English language learners. In particular, the use of apps can help learners become more proficient in English in a variety of ways. In January’s EL Quarterly, a list of popular apps were provided that might be especially useful during this time.


Learner Spotlight: Christopher Hernandez

Finance Icons

Christopher Hernandez is an 8th grader who is in his second year of homeschooling with iLEAD Exploration. Christopher is bilingual and speaks Spanish and English. The opportunity to be homeschooled has brought great successes for Christopher as he has demonstrated great progress in math, karate, and drum skills.

Name: Christopher Hernandez

What languages do you speak?

I speak English and Spanish.

What is your favorite saying in your native language?

¡Yo tengo hambre!” (“I’m hungry!”)

What is a family tradition that you enjoy?

I enjoy going to church with my family.

What career would you like to have?

I would like to be a boxer.

What is your favorite subject?

Writing is my favorite subject.

Has being multilingual allowed you any special opportunities?

I think it’s useful because if I have a job and if there is a person who knows only Spanish, and I know only English, then we can’t communicate, but since I know both languages I am able to communicate with the person who speaks Spanish.

What is your favorite hobby?

Playing Fortnite

What advice would you give to someone trying to learn a new language?

Try speaking the language as much as you can because it’s good practice and it will help you improve!

Popular Apps for English Language Learners

Computer Image

Using technology can be very beneficial for English language learners. In particular, the use of apps can help learners become more proficient in English in a variety of ways. First, using apps can build proficiency through repetition and review. Many apps out there have games, videos, activities, and quizzes that repeat words and phrases over and over to help the student learn English. When learning any language, the more exposure to vocabulary and grammar, the more proficient the student will become. Second, apps can provide opportunities for the learner to practice listening and speaking skills in English. Some ELL apps have recording options so that the learner can repeat words or phrases while recording themselves. They can then replay the recording and listen to themselves speak. The recording functions can serve to be great tools to track the progress of a learner’s English speaking skills and build fluency. Third, apps give EL learners more experience and exposure to the English language. Of course, the best exposure is interaction with English speakers, but apps can be fun, interactive, and engaging for the EL learner.

There are many apps geared toward EL learners, but here are a few popular ELL apps that we would like to highlight! Check them out!

This app is for all ages. It is simple and easy to use. Each lesson is comprised of a short animated video/movie to coincide with interactive features, games, and quizzes. The learner will be able to learn and practice vocabulary, listening, speaking, and grammar with this app!

This app is geared more for the younger learners although older kids who are just learning English could benefit from it, too! Their approach is to use games to teach English. The games are colorful, highly interactive, and engaging and are especially helpful when learning vocabulary.

These are four different apps but they are all very similar in that they provide user-friendly and personalized learning of any language you want, including English! They encourage the learner to complete 10-15 minute lessons daily to help with memory and review of vocabulary and grammar. These apps also focus on teaching language for daily conversations and regular life situations.

FluentU utilizes a different and unique approach to teach English. They use real-world videos such as news, music videos, commercials, and inspiring talks to teach the language. This is a natural approach to help the learner ease into the culture and language over time. The learner will learn how English is spoken in everyday life. This app would benefit older and more advanced learners.

Beelinguapp teaches English through the use of audiobooks. They present the text in both the native language and the language you want to learn. The learner can listen, read along, and practice pronunciations with this app!

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