Accelerate Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking Skills with iLitELL

iLitELL accelerates the receptive and expressive language skills of all secondary English learners, from newcomers to experienced multilingual learners. Instruction focuses around rigorous and relevant grade-level anchor texts.

  • Embedded SIOP in Practice Teaching Strategies
  • First language support in more than 100 languages
  • Aligned to WIDA and state standards
  • Reading, writing, speaking, and listening
iLitELL supports English language development and accelerates English language proficiency.

Accelerate English Language Development

Built specifically for secondary students, iLitELL accelerates the reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills of English learners in Grades 6 and up.


Build Academic Vocabulary

Every iLitELL lesson explicitly models and teaches vocabulary.



Embedded scaffolding — including translations in more than 100 languages, a visual dictionary, sentence frames, and more — supports English learners in accessing rigorous grade-level texts.


Foundational Literacy Skills

Students who need more support with phonological awareness and phonics receive adaptive foundational skills instruction built for the secondary learner.


Newcomer Instruction

iLitELL provides flexibility to work with individual newcomer students, small groups, or a whole class with 65 lessons built just for newcomers.

Accelerate English Language Proficiency

  • Expressive and Receptive Language Development for Multilingual Learners
  • Proven Instructional Model
  • Adaptive Personalized Instruction
  • Newcomer Module
  • Flexible Implementation Options

Expressive and Receptive Language Development for Multilingual Learners

  • Expressive Language
    In iLitELL, students write and speak every day. English learners can also make their own recordings, submit to their teacher, and save for conferencing. Students write persuasive, informational, or narrative essays in each iLitELL unit. Students also create multimedia projects, write poetry and plays, and complete research projects. A writing engine provides feedback that can help English learners enhance and improve their writing.
  • Receptive Language
    iLitELL’s gradual release of responsibility model builds students’ reading and listening skills. Students read independently with scaffolding, and teacher scaffolding helps them to read and access a grade-level text, which they discuss in depth during class. ELs can “hear” modeled oral readings, demonstrating sounds and pronunciation in English.
  • Personalized Digital Scaffolding
    The iLitELL digital library lets students choose what they read! Multilingual learners select texts that interest them from the library. These culturally relevant fiction and nonfiction texts have support features, such as audio, translation, and a picture dictionary, to give English learners effective, personalized scaffolding.
  • Embedded SIOP Teaching Strategies
    SIOP, or Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol, is the only empirically validated instructional model for teaching English learners. iLitELL includes SIOP strategies at point of use. It’s like having a complete EL methods course at your fingertips.

Proven Instructional Model

  • Time to Read
    Students choose from a high-interest library that includes picture books, Spanish titles, and content readers that focus on science and social studies topics. They can discuss in Book Clubs and respond to prompts using sentence frames.
  • Vocabulary
    Teach words from the anchor text, as well as lessons on oral language production, conversational fluency, academic vocabulary, related words or connectors, transition words, and/or prepositions.
  • Read Aloud, Think Aloud
    Read Aloud, Think Aloud is the centerpiece of the iLitELL instructional model. The teacher models skills and strategies with a culturally relevant, grade-level text. This scaffolding helps English learners access a rigorous text.
  • Classroom Conversation
    Provide opportunities for students to process and discuss the anchor text. Conversation Starters provide scaffolding for the discussions, and teachers have routines and tips to encourage students to speak.
  • Whole Group
    Whole Group focuses on various language arts skills and strategies --e.g. various types of authentic writing -- to support English language development.
  • Work Time/Wrap Up
    Work Time is differentiated according to students’ needs. Students work independently and in small groups to apply and demonstrate what they’ve learned. Dozens of activity types are included, aligned to lessons and weeks of instruction. Students may also use this time to work in adaptive study plans. The Wrap-Up closes the lesson by making a connection, having students share what they learned, and clearly explaining any homework assignments.

Adaptive Personalized Instruction

  • Adaptive Grammar, Spelling, and Vocabulary Study Plans
    Support English learners in developing English grammar, vocabulary, and spelling skills with adaptive study plans that are assigned based on individual learning needs. Each plan includes direct instruction and provides adaptive practice based on student performance.
  • Adaptive Nonfiction Interactive Readers
    Adaptive performance-based instruction steadily increases English learners’ capacity to read more complex informational texts. Each student completes self-guided, independent reading in their Interactive Reader. The Interactive Reader text extends two full years in complexity over the course of a school year, challenging students to apply skills and strategies to increasingly complex texts.
  • Adaptive Foundational Skills Work
    iLitELL provides secondary students who need varying levels of foundational skills practice–all the way down to phonological awareness–with age-appropriate Phonics and Word Study Readers and activities to build their English foundational literacy skills.

Newcomer Module

  • Support Adolescent Newcomers
    The iLitELL Newcomer Module provides lessons that help acclimate newcomers to the American school setting and transition to the English language.
  • Newcomer Survival Language
    Students focus on essential skills, such as how to introduce yourself, or on basic vocabulary, such as names for common classroom objects. Then students learn foundational literacy skills, such as letters and sounds.
  • Newcomer Instructional Model
    Newcomer lessons feature a shorter, more focused version of the iLitELL instructional model. The digital library offers selections made for secondary newcomers, with many selections below 100 Lexile. After students complete the module, they are ready for regular iLitELL instruction.

Flexible Implementation Options

  • Blended Implementation Options
    If digital equipment is limited and there’s not a device for every student every day, no worries. You can use iLitELL with a projector and as few as five or six devices in the class. 400+ texts are available for purchase in print, and print practice workbooks are also available for purchase.
  • Digital Implementation Options
    iLitELL can be implemented completely digitally in a 1:1 program. Every student has a device, either a computer or tablet, and teachers have a whiteboard or computer connected to a projector.
  • Offline Capabilities

    Students don’t have access to the Internet away from school. Any teacher who has taught with technology can relate. iLitELL has you covered.

    Students can use iLit offline on a Chromebook™ or iPad®. Assignments started online can be completed offline. eBooks that have been started can be read offline. When the student’s device is reconnected to the Internet, magic happens! The work is synced with the iLit system.


Take a deeper look at iLitELL

Program Overview

See how iLitELL accelerates English language proficiency.

Track Student Growth


Norm-referenced Snapshot

  • iLitELL includes the norm-referenced GRADE™ diagnostic to provide a norm-referenced snapshot of student growth each at the start, middle, and end of each school year.
  • The program also includes a screening assessment for newcomers.


Easy-to-use Reports

  • iLitELL provides district, school, class, and student level reporting in easy-to-read graphs and visuals.
  • Get a real-time look at student performance in comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, writing, and foundational skills.

Proven to Accelerate Growth!

Take a look at the research and results behind iLitELL to see how this program has helped English learners make two years of reading growth in a single year!

  • The Research behind iLit
  • Jim Cummins Whitepaper
  • Foundational iLit Research

iLit Research Study

Independent research confirms that iLit significantly impacts student achievement!

Read Here

The Central Roles of of Language Awareness and Literacy Engagement in Accelerating Students’ Academic Development


Read the Foundational Research

Read More

Meet the authors behind iLitELL


  • Elfrieda H. “Freddy” Hiebert, Ph.D.
  • Sharroky Hollie, Ph.D.
  • Jim Cummins, Ph.D.
  • Roger Bonair-Agard
  • Kelly Gallagher
  • William G. Brozo, Ph.D.
  • Sharon Vaughn, Ph.D.

Elfrieda H. “Freddy” Hiebert, Ph.D.

Freddy is President and CEO of TextProject, a nonprofit that provides resources to support higher reading levels. She was awarded the prestigious 2015 Oscar S. Causey Award for her outstanding contributions to reading research. Dr. Hiebert is a research associate at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has worked in the field of early reading acquisition for 45 years, first as a teacher’s aide and teacher of primary-level students in California and subsequently as a teacher and researcher. Her research addresses how fluency, vocabulary, and knowledge can be fostered through appropriate texts.


Sharroky Hollie, Ph.D.

Sharroky has trained thousands of educators in the area of cultural responsiveness. He has been a classroom teacher, a professional development coordinator, and a school founder and administrator. Dr. Hollie is a professor in teacher education at California State University Dominguez Hills. He has been a visiting professor for Webster University in St. Louis and a guest lecturer at Stanford and UCLA. He is the author of Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching and Learning 2e © 2017.


Jim Cummins, Ph.D.

Jim is a well-known second language educator and a major contributor to the research in the field of bilingual education. He is a professor emeritus at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Dr. Cummins focuses on literacy development in multilingual school contexts as well as on the potential roles of technology in promoting language and literacy development. The TESOL community credits Dr. Cummins with the concept of Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS) and Cognitive Language Proficiency (CALP).


Roger Bonair-Agard

Roger is an acclaimed poet, performance artist, and educator. He is an adjunct instructor of creative writing at Fordham University (NYC), a writer-in-residence with Vision Intro Art and a poet-in-residence with Young Chicago Authors. He also teaches poetry at the Cook County Temporary Juvenile Detention Facility in Chicago. Roger is a two-time National Poetry Slam champion. His collections include Bury My Clothes (2013), which was a long-list finalist for a National Book Award. Other poetry volumes include Where Brooklyn At? (2016), Gully (2010) and Tarnish and Masquerade (2006).


Kelly Gallagher

Kelly is one of the leading voices for reading, writing, and literacy education. He teaches at Magnolia High School in Anaheim, California and received the Award for Classroom Excellence from the California Association of Teachers of English. Kelly taught secondary literacy courses at California State University Fullerton and served as the president of the Secondary Reading Group of the International Reading Association. He is the acclaimed author of numerous books, including In the Best Interest of Students: Staying True to What Works in the ELA Classroom (2015), Write Like This: Teaching Real-World Writing Through Modeling and Mentor Texts (2011), Readicide: How Schools Are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It (2009).


William G. Brozo, Ph.D.

William is an expert on literacy development for young adults, boys, and male youth. He is a professor of literacy in the Graduate School of Education at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and has taught language arts in junior and senior high school in the Carolinas. Dr. Brozo is a distinguished author of numerous books, including Engaging Boys in Active Literacy (2019), Disciplinary and Content Literacy for Today’s Adolescents 6e (2017), RTI and the Adolescent Reader (2011), and To Be a Boy, To Be a Reader: Engaging Teen and Preteen Boys in Active Literacy (2010).


Sharon Vaughn, Ph.D.

Sharon has published extensive research on literacy education, interventions, children with reading disabilities, and English learners. She is a professor in the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin. Her publications include Teaching Students Who Are Exceptional, Diverse, and At Risk in the General Education Classroom (2018); Teaching Reading Comprehension to Students with Learning Difficulties (2015); Strategies for Teaching Students with Learning and Behavior Problems (2014); and Research-Based Method of Reading Instruction (2004).


Hear from iLitELL Students


“It’s really helpful in my reading.”


“iLit’s made me a better reader”

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