ELLoquence by Thesys is designed to help English Language Learners improve their English skills through academic content taught in a blended format. Fairmont Preparatory Academy is a private school in Anaheim, CA, which has an on-site International Academy designed for international students who come from all over the world to improve their English skills and study. Based on the data below, high school students learned English at a significantly faster pace than previously experienced.
“The time spent on the computers was different each day, but usually 1.0 to 1.5 hours on the program, a good blend of class time and computer time. The data showed us that the students did do well on the tests and put forth effort on the computer. The students in their end-of-course reflections did say they enjoyed the course and it is evident that they were able to handle the technology involved.”
-Mr. Dan Fichtner, Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District ELL Teacher and former President of CATESOL
Here’s what teacher Ms. Beth Libhart had to say about the Thesys program (2013/14):
Q. In what ways did the Thesys ELL Program make teaching easier or smoother?
A. “The course content is all there and easily accessible because everything is hosted online through the Learning Management System. It’s basically a one stop shop, and that definitely makes things easier. The Thesys program is also great for super star students. Faster students can work ahead and review material that I am going to teach days later. The program lets them work at a faster pace without making it too difficult for the students who need a slower pace.”
Q. What aspects of the Thesys course do you like most?
A. “The material is phenomenal. During the semester, I saw the students shoot up so high so quickly. I also saw the lower students get to where the higher ones started. I really like that there is a PowerPoint for all the required vocabulary. Also, the text is made simpler by “chunking” one or two paragraphs at a time. If a student sees too much text it can be overwhelming, and the student’s initial instinct is to give up. With Thesys, the material is broken up into manageable pieces so students do not get overwhelmed. I use the non-fiction text as a foundation. I have been able to layer in additional projects and assignments that relate to the basic text. I like that almost everything related to a unit is already accessible to students on the LMS.”
Q. Do students seem more engaged in the Thesys course as opposed to a typical course?
A. “Absolutely! Students that are interested are engaged. The reading in the Thesys course is high-interest, because it is non-fiction content. That creates higher interest because they are reading about something that actually happened, and the students really seem to enjoy that.”
Q. How did the ELL Program affect the speed in which students learned concepts?
A. “This course, through repetition of material, substantially helps students learn skills.”
Q. Would you recommend the Thesys program to other teachers, especially ELL teachers?
A. “I would absolutely recommend it. We are using it again next year. It is the way to go—curriculum and content stay current and interesting while being very accessible and rigorous. Every teacher should use it. It’s better for both the teachers and the students.”
Q. What was your light bulb moment with Thesys? What made you really see the difference?
A. “It was definitely the vocabulary that made me realize how useful this program is. The ELL vocabulary maintains difficulty without having words that are overly academic so students don’t give up. I have no doubt that if the students were at home going through the sections by themselves they would have no problem understanding the words and learning from them.”