Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Implement Program To Foster Language Skills For Ell Students

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the number of English learners enrolled in K-12 schools has increased by over 50 percent in the last decade. Educators responsible for teaching these students know that simply exposing English language learners (ELL) to the English language is not enough for academic success. Instructional strategies that facilitate instruction and assessment need to be based on comprehension of content through meaningful activities and assignments. To support its teachers in creating instructional environments designed to improve English emergent literacy skills for this student population, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) has announced plans to adopt StudySync district-wide as an essential component of its school’s language arts program.

StudySync is a cross-curricular program for grades 4-12 that includes over 550 digital texts and excerpts, dynamic video, and media intended to promote higher order reading, writing, listening, and critical thinking skills. The web-based platform offers literacy instruction, searchable by genre, theme, grade and Lexile® level, and assessment on all devices.

“ELL students live in two separate worlds of language and culture -- at home and at school,” said Kristen Baker, ESL Student Education and Title III ESL Technology Resource Teacher for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. “Daily, our teachers find themselves in mixed ability classrooms where scaffolding and differentiation of instruction are necessary. [StudySync] allows us to deliver differentiated instruction to our English Language Learners in a relevant and collaborative way because it’s done in a way that models the language and skills the students need to develop and resonates with the students via digital media, mobile technology and social networking.”

StudySync allows CMS teachers to integrate the product into their current classroom curriculum for ELL students. For example, the district’s language arts teachers will be able to customize the learning experience for students by using StudySync lessons in sequence as a complete unit or assigning individual components to support differentiated instruction and supplement existing lesson plans. Teachers can also track progress and make assessments at any time. Aligned to state standards and designed from Common Core State Standards, StudySync can be used across disciplines — for language arts classrooms as well as science, mathematics, social studies, history, and more.

StudySync’s mobile device application also offers an optimized view for students accessing StudySync via mobile devices. CMS teachers can have students practice short form writing such as Blast assignments on their iPads, saving computer lab time for longer form assignments.

Baker continued, “Writing is cross-curricular and doesn’t happen in just one classroom. We are excited to find ONE platform that works with our iPad initiative and provides our students with not only the type of dynamic visual experience that they crave, but at the same time offers program elements to motivate the students, inspire intelligent dialogue and stimulate academic collaboration – all critical to ensuring these English language learners gain a competitive edge in their post high school education and career tracks.”

“In our inter-connected 21st century world, reading, writing and critical thinking skills are more important than ever,” said Robert Romano, CEO, StudySync. “To motivate students to keep pace and read and write at progressively higher levels, especially students grappling with English language acquisition, we had to design a program with today’s digital natives in mind. StudySync gives students what they need in the format they demand. We have met them where they live and now can learn — in a digitally-driven and robust environment.”

For more information about StudySync, visit