English Language Support for All Learners with TCI

At TCI, we know there is a need to provide greater literacy support in classrooms. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), only 31 percent of eighth graders read at or above the NAEP proficient level in 2022. Furthermore, English learners are a growing population in U.S. schools. In 2019, the National Center for Education Statistics reported that about 5.1 million English learners were enrolled in K-12 schools, making up over 10 percent of public school students in the United States.

TCI’s programs include a number of reading tools, strategies, and activities to provide extra support for students reading and writing below grade level and for English learners. Here are some ways TCI’s programs build English language skills for all learners.

Engaging Vocabulary Development Activities

Vocabulary games, interactive flip cards, and more—there are many opportunities to develop English language skills with TCI’s engaging vocabulary activities. Each lesson includes:

Vocabulary Games

Assign Powered by Pizza, Community Cleanup, Museum of Parts, or Adventures in the Sky to review key terms from the lesson.

Interactive Flip Cards

Students can review vocabulary from the lesson with flippable vocabulary cards online or in print.

Vocabulary Slide Activities

Teach your class key terms with drag-and-drop activities, definition previews, and more.


TCI also offers additional vocabulary development strategies. Look in the Teacher’s Guide for best practices, or use the graphic organizers in the Vocabulary Development Toolkit for extra support.

“TCI works great with ELD students,” high school teacher Ivan Quiroz Bautista shared. “TCI curriculum is thematic, which allows students from any walk of life and language level to make connections to past and present history, as well as their own. Also, the straightforward but insightful way in which it’s written and the vocabulary support it provides allows multi-level readers to connect the story.”

Support for All Readers

TCI’s programs combine engaging, considerate text with reading tools to support all readers. TCI’s considerate text design includes:

  • Single-column text
  • Definitions for key vocabulary terms at point of use
  • Chunked content
  • Clear titles, subheadings, and text structure
  • Large, compelling images with captions
  • Clean and visually appealing page layouts free of distracting callouts

Barbara Easley, a social studies coordinator at Hazelwood School District, shared, “Social studies teachers know that using TCI means having structures for cooperative learning, providing text that all students can comprehend, and supporting the literacy goals of the district.”

In addition to considerate text design, TCI’s programs include a number of reading support tools. Through the digital platform, students can access multiple reading levels–they may choose Level A for grade-appropriate text or Level B for text written below grade level. They can also listen to the reading with the text-to-speech tool, view the main ideas, take notes, and highlight text in different colors to support different reading strategies.

To support English language learners and dual immersion classrooms, TCI’s programs are also available in Spanish in print and online. For those who prefer online, simply use the language toggle in the sidebar to switch the whole program to Spanish.

Teachers will also have access to differentiating instruction and toolkits to support students reading and writing below grade level and English learners. Each lesson includes specific instructions to adjust lessons for students who need extra reading support. The program’s Reading Toolkit provides strategies and graphic organizers to support all readers.

Writing Practice and Organizers

From short answer questions to long-form essays, there are many opportunities to practice writing throughout each TCI program. For example, TCI’s notebook questions ask students to examine the text and thoughtfully respond to the reading.

Kelly Funk, an elementary social studies teacher, recounted, “At the end of the reading sections, students evaluated the thoughts and information they collected to decide where they would like to move as colonists. They needed to use evidence from their reading to support their decision.”

For longer-form writing, each unit includes an Inquiry Project. TCI’s inquiry projects allow students to gather evidence throughout lessons and construct an evidence-based argument at the end of each unit. TCI’s Writing Toolkit helps students organize their thoughts. It provides strategies and examples for students who struggle with writing.

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