Colibro Conversations

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Why Colibro is Special

by Ken Bond

I am proud to be affiliated with Colibro, a publishing and media company for language learners for the 21st century. These are some of the reasons that I believe that Colibro is so special.

Building Bridges of Understanding

Language learning builds bridges of understanding between countries, cultures, and people.   Colibro is a publishing and media company for language learners that creates a safe space for learners to build these bridges regardless of their age or language proficiency.  The content from the bilingual E-books found in the Colibro library helps learners acquire new language skills while reading fiction and non-fiction texts.  Rather than focusing heavily on vocabulary lists and grammar drills, Colibro presents language in the way it is spoken and written in everyday life.  Learners can engage with a new language supported by their own native language, pictures, and the option to read along with a native speaker.  A new culture will become accessible as learners engage more complex language inside and outside Colibro.  This app will help learners develop skills for navigating in-person conversations, online communications, written publications, and media sources.

Customizing the Learning Experience

Whether learners are studying English as an additional language or they are English-speakers learning a foreign language, Colibro will be an engaging experience for them.  It is built as a language learning library that provides on demand titles listed by genre.  The library is built so that learners have access to materials geared for their age and proficiency level.  The Colibro Level Framework is a tool that ensures the text difficulty is right at their ability level.  Colibro allows learners to read texts that will challenge them without frustrating them.

Promoting Self-Efficacy

Colibro empowers language learners to have total freedom to choose.  With Colibro, learners select content that they find engaging.  The Colibro library is stocked with books in every genre, so learners can direct their exploration of new topics.  If learners lose interest in a specific title, they can select a new story in the on demand library.  When choosing accessibility features, learners can also decide what supports they want for every line of text.  The functionality offered by Colibro allows learners to decide when they want to be able to hear a native speaker read aloud the text, what native language support they receive, and how fast they progress through text.

Learner-Centered Technology

Colibro is an intuitive app that makes navigation easy.  Because of the intuitive computer app and mobile app, learners can spend more time exploring language.  The 9 Colibro levels give learners the ability to expand their proficiency as they gain confidence by reading books in the Colibro library.  It enables cross-linguistic transfer of knowledge between learners’ native language and the language they are acquiring.  Colibro is uniquely positioned for 21st century learning.  Teachers can use it as a school and home learning tool, professionals can practice language using its on-the-go features, and families can connect new and old language traditions using its bilingual text.


What do the experts say?

Colibro is positioned to fill a space in the world of digital language learning because it fits with what language acquisition experts are advocating.

“Language development is facilitated when students are surrounded by authentic texts (oral, written, and visual) related to their own interests… The integration of language and content brings authenticity and meaning into subject-specific genres.”

-Margo Gottlieb, Ph.D., Lead Developer, WIDA

“Reading engagement has emerged in many studies as a powerful predictor of academic attainment for both second language learners and English first language speakers.”

-Jim Cummins, Ph.D., Professor, Ontario Education Institute of the University of Toronto

“Readers use their knowledge of their first language and experiences when they read in their second language… Literacy skills in the first language facilitate the development of English reading and writing.” 

-Kathy Escamilla, Ph.D., Professor of Ed. Equity & Cultural Diversity, University of Colorado

Ken Bond

February 2016

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.

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