Gateshead (UK), January 2023 - While literacy is a cornerstone of success across all subjects, many upper elementary and middle school students lack the literacy skills they need to learn effectively. In fact, the most recent 2022 NAEP results indicate that 69% of students aren't reading at a proficient level in grade 8, and 67% of students are below proficiency in reading levels in grade 4. To help educators accelerate literacy skills in all learning among students in grades 4-8, Lexia, a Cambium Learning Group company, has introduced Lexia Aspire™ Professional Learning.
As the first professional learning solution specifically designed for educators of adolescent students, Lexia Aspire Professional Learning is a flexible, self-paced digital solution that is grounded in the science of reading. Its focus is on the transition from "learning to read" to "reading to learn." This new program expands Lexia's award-winning professional learning offerings, which include the industry's gold standard known as Lexia LETRS® (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling).
The LETRS suite of professional learning provides educators and administrators with deep knowledge to be literacy and language experts in the science of reading. LETRS teaches the skills needed to master the fundamentals of reading instruction-phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, writing, and language.
"Many educators and leaders have wanted a solution that is specifically designed to help educators teach literacy skills across all content areas in grades 4-8," said Lexia's Chief Learning Officer, Liz Brooke, Ph.D., CCC-SLP. "Lexia Aspire Professional Learning is based on the principles of the science of reading and Lexia's expertise in literacy.
With this program, educators can quickly build the depth of skills they need to support their students who are reading to learn, but who may still have gaps in the foundational reading skills developed when they were learning how to read, comprehend, and articulate their ideas across various subjects."
Equipping educators with the knowledge and skills they need to apply science-based strategies to a classroom that supports varying levels of literacy competencies is central to the design of Lexia Aspire Professional Learning. Lexia Aspire Professional Learning is designed to support all upper elementary and middle school educators, including content area teachers, classroom teachers, interventionists, speech pathologists, and English language arts educators.
To accommodate educators' busy schedules, Lexia Aspire Professional Learning is self-paced, so educators can receive the support and skill development they need on their schedule. The program, which takes approximately 40 hours to finish, focuses on instruction across three domains: word recognition, language comprehension, and reading comprehension and writing.
After setting the foundation with a few prerequisite courses, educators can choose which domains they engage with and the sequence in which they complete the courses. Within each course, educators receive personalized content in response to their performance. Those who master concepts can progress, while those who need additional, scaffolded support receive it.
"Lexia Aspire Professional Learning gives educators the agency and flexibility to choose content that's most relevant to improving their students' literacy outcomes. The courses are practical and immediately transferable to the classroom," Brooke said.
Lexia Aspire Professional Learning courses are aligned with the International Dyslexia Association's Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading, and "Bridge to Application" resources are aligned with the Common Core State Standards and other state standards.
The professional learning program also provides district and school leaders with essential data that helps them visualize their educators' progress. Its district dashboard provides real-time data on licenses, performance on assessments, and time spent in the platform to make professional learning more transparent and give education leaders easy access to the information they need to make decisions that support their educators.