Innovating to Better Meet the Needs of English Language Learners

May 09, 2018

This is the fourth blog in a series where we will be exploring the topic of innovation and its impact on digital curriculum. 

More than 36 languages are spoken at Emmett J. Conrad High School in Dallas, which has a large population of students who are from families granted refuge or asylum. While it’s common to have ELL students in today’s classrooms, educators say they are struggling now more than ever to fulfill the academic and social-emotional needs of this increasingly diverse student group. 

Teachers cite a lack of high-quality instructional materials that support students' language and academic needs, while at the same time providing the rigor to stay on grade-level. As a result, there is still a persistent achievement gap. ELL students consistently graduate at a lower rate than their English-speaking peers, achieve lower literacy scores and are more likely to struggle with math.

Students at Emmett J. Conrad High School have the opportunity to combat these odds with the use of digital curriculum to personalize learning. ELL students are able to augment their learning with scaffolds and support to build content mastery and focus on areas where they need the most help. The district offers Apex Learning Tutorials to support student success on high stakes exams like the TSI Assessment and Texas STAAR to pass a course the first time and to prepare them for college level coursework.

“When you work hard enough, you can achieve anything,” said Eleni, a recent graduate and Apex Learning Tutorials student from Emmett J. Conrad High School. “People think it’s unlikely we will succeed because we are immigrants, but we are proof that no matter our differences, we can be successful. My mom calls it a miracle. I didn’t speak any English when we arrived, and now I want to become a doctor. When you work hard enough and see that you are supported, you can achieve anything.” 

Seizing the Opportunity

Apex Learning digital curriculum provides English language learners with the foundation needed to excel in school and beyond, while also raising districts’ performance and community standing. This can be a challenging, time-consuming task for a district to accomplish alone, but it can be made simply and efficiently by joining forces with a partner committed to building a path to success for all students. To learn more about our ELL programs, visit:

We would love to hear your thoughts and feedback on this blog series or any of our blog topics. Reach out to us directly with any questions, ideas at


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