Underachieving Preschool English Language Learners Gain Proficiency

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GrapeSEED announced today that its English learning program for young English language learners in the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) in Michigan has resulted in significant growth in language proficiency at a rate faster than expected for their age.

What impressed me right out of the gate was, here you have four-year-olds, fully engaged for 30 minutes. And we know that an engaged student is a learning student.

GrapeSEED announced today the results of a recent study showing the positive effects its oral language acquisition program for young English learners is having on Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) preschool students in the Berrien Regional Educational Service Area (RESA) school district in Michigan.

Eric Hoppstock, the assistant superintendent at Berrien RESA, described GrapeSEED as a “language-rich, pre-reading environment.” He immediately noticed the unusually high level of student engagement. “What impressed me right out of the gate was, here you have four-year-olds, fully engaged for 30 minutes. And we know that an engaged student is a learning student.”

Most exciting to Hoppstock is the fresh hope for breaking the generational cycle of underachievement afflicting many of the GSRP families. “One way of breaking the cycle is to give the child a better educational experience than their parents had - that is the ticket out,” Hoppstock said, adding, “We are excited about how we can accomplish that.”

In this preschool English research, where 432 GSRP preschool students were assessed using six subtests of the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals (CELF), all students, including at-risk students, reduced the achievement gap in most of the six areas.

Not only did they gain, but GrapeSEED students grew much faster than their national peers in every area! The CELF results graph shows that students performing at or above the age norm increased significantly from Fall to Spring assessments, due entirely to the improvement of at-risk students.

Filled with songs, action activities, stories, and more, GrapeSEED lessons are fun and engaging, resulting in increased test scores in language for all students and a closing of the achievement gap for at-risk students, as demonstrated in Berrien RESA.

About GrapeSEED
GrapeSEED is a research based, English-language acquisition program for children (ages 4-12), currently in use in 16 countries, in over 600 schools, serving more than 40,000 students. In the United States, the program has been used for language development with preschool children, English Language Learners (ELL) students, English as a Second Language (ESL) students, and other Limited English Proficiency (LEP) students and struggling readers. It has been designated as an appropriate Tier I and Tier II program for Response to Intervention initiatives. Learn more at http://www.grapeseed.com/.

About GSRP
The Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) is a state funded preschool program in Michigan for qualifying four-year-old children. Children from low-income families who are not eligible for or who are unable to attend the Head Start program can enroll in GSRP. Enrollment prioritization is based on family income and educational risk factors, such as disabilities or developmental delays, primary home language other than English, or challenging behavior.

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Erin Reeder
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