Colibro’s value as a supplemental curriculum is that it enhances students’ receptive language domains gradually shorten the sentences and the space between words as well, ending up at a normal reading speed for kids by levels 5 and 6, listening and reading. Since the receptive domains usually develop more quickly than the productive domains (speaking and writing), students are able to engage with Colibro’s library, at levels of proficiency that may be out of reach in their core language proficiency curriculum. Students will gain a sense of accomplishment as they comprehend higher level texts. As a result, students’ affective filters will be lowered in speaking and writing, which in turn will allow them to gain proficiency in the productive domains.
As students experience incremental growth, Colibro’s library has content for exactly where they are. Instead of static books that cannot account for student growth, the books in the Colibro library are fit for all levels of language proficiency. Core English learner and language arts curricula can be modified to some degree for varying levels of proficiency, but Colibro provides on-demand stories that contain the appropriate amount of linguistic complexity for each individual student. Teachers have the flexibility to custom design level- and interest-appropriate virtual bookshelves for students with the swipe of their finger.
receptive language: the processing of language through listening and reading
Bilingual supports found in Colibro also bridge the academic and social language between students’ home language and target language. Many schools struggle to find supplemental reading that supports multiple home languages. Colibro has a range of fiction and non-fiction stories across multiple languages that will allow students to develop language proficiency in various content areas and genres. Using Colibro’s leveled, bilingual library, students will be able to extend literacy practices beyond their English learners and language arts classes. High-quality, nonfiction texts will be able to travel with them to their study hall, lunchroom, family room, and beyond.
Ken is a senior advisor to Colibro. He is also the ESL/Bilingual Education Coordinator for the New Jersey Department of Education and a faculty member at Rowan University. He has taught children and adults in ESL and EFL settings around the globe. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and two daughters.