How the Redcat helps ELLs learn English
By Jeralyn Shaw
At Dogwood Elementary School in Heber, California, where I am the principal, we use Redcat classroom audio systems to assist in teaching English learners. The system allows students to hear distinct sounds that are sometimes less audible during pronunciation. We find this is a tremendous benefit to beginning readers and students learning a new language.
The Redcat’s clear amplification allows students to more easily distinguish and identify particular sounds in the spoken language. Because many of our English learners are just beginning to connect symbols and sounds, hearing the distinction between similar sounds is vital to their success. Students say they like the system, and say it makes it easier for them to learn and understand what the teacher is saying.
Teachers have reported noticing an improvement in student behavior in classes where the Redcat system is being used. Students who tend to be distracted by the sounds and movements of the daily class appear to have an easier time following directions. Being able to hear directions correctly the first time prevents loss of instructional time. It also prevents students getting negative attention, which sometimes happens if a student does not hear what the teacher said the first time.
Another benefit of using Redcat has been being able to amplify the voice of soft-spoken teachers, so they are not having to constantly strain in order to be heard.
“It puts an auditory spotlight on what’s most important,” one teacher told me. Because of the Redcat system, teachers are able to create a pleasant, nurturing environment where every student can hear.
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