Universal Access

Universal Access (UA) is a method adopted for differentiating instruction for students according to their current level of proficiency. Instruction in English is a significant component of the program for English Learners (ELs) and proceeds simultaneously with direct, explicit, and systematic instruction in reading and writing. Regular occasions for students to actively participate in oral language and speaking activities assist students in hearing and developing the English sound system and lexicon. UA supports the concurrent development of reading and writing with comprehension. Beginning instruction in reading, particularly in phonemic awareness, concepts about print, and vocabulary development, begins immediately upon enrolling in school and supports the acquisition of English phonology and initial language structures.

Complete understanding of text is limited by the EL students’ level of English proficiency and must be supported by the teacher providing extra exposure to and study of vocabulary and language patterns presented in the text. Students are provided pre-teaching lessens in fundamental vocabulary, background information, and language patterns. The teacher reviews key elements of each lesson and immediately assesses the students’ current level of understanding

Additional instructional time, differentiated instruction, flexible grouping, and smaller groups provide EL students the support they require to succeed in English. After-school programs, specialist teachers, and the judicious use of tutors and paraprofessionals are other sources of support. Additional instructional support must align with classroom instruction and assist students in learning the specific vocabulary, background knowledge, and language structures needed to succeed in school mastering the content standards for each grade level.

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