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CompassLearning(TM) Continues to Broaden Outreach to English Language Learners

CompassLearning Odyssey(R) for English Language Learners Expands Number of Available Languages

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- CompassLearning is increasing the number of language offerings in its CompassLearning Odyssey for English Language Learners (ELL) product. Odyssey ELL will be available in Arabic; Chinese (Mandarin); Haitian Creole; Hmong; Japanese; Korean; Portuguese; Russian, and Vietnamese.

The product was first launched in Broadcast Spanish last spring. This next grouping of languages was chosen based on statistics provided by the U.S. Department of Education Survey that described the most prominent backgrounds of ELL students in the United States as well as the needs of our customers

Odyssey ELL uses a communicative, interactive, and experiential approach to second language instruction. The lessons focus on real world conversations and weave language skills into the exploratory activities. The approach is patterned on the way a young child would learn their own native language. All programs are conducted entirely in English, with directions and instructions available in the native language dependent upon the individual student's skill level. This assisted language method is a key component of Odyssey ELL and provides the scaffolding necessary to help students navigate the online activities.

Starting with Broadcast Spanish last spring, CompassLearning soon realized that Odyssey ELL was more than meeting the goals the company had set -- students were sticking with it, teachers found it easy to work with, and most importantly, students were leaving the lessons with a feeling of accomplishment -- a sure sign that students are learning.

"With the growth of ELL students in the classroom, helping them to master the English language is a big challenge for educators. Classrooms today and increasingly in the future, will have student populations made up of multiple native languages. Having the right tools is critical for educators to succeed in their mission," Rajeev Puri, president of CompassLearning said.

"CompassLearning has been able to develop a product that makes learning English exciting while at the same time focusing on the core fundamentals that are at the root of learning any language. The feedback and response we have received to date from teachers and students has been great," Puri concluded.

In designing the product, CompassLearning worked with the Q Group, a leader in the development of instruction solutions with a focus on the ELL market. Q Group specializes in creating products designed to work across all age categories and nationalities. Q Group's products are used in educational, institutional, and corporate disciplines.

The fastest growing enrollment segment in schools today is English language learners (ELL). From 1990 to 2000, ELL enrollment grew by more than 105 percent compared with a 12 percent growth of total student enrollment during the same period and it is expected that this trend will continue. In classrooms across the country, the "norm" is literally a global village.

In compliance with No Child Left Behind as well as state mandates, ELL children are tested along with all others in reading and math assessment -- but they also are tested on their progress in learning English. Up until now they have continued to struggle because of the lack of effective materials in the market place.

Odyssey ELL is offered in two versions, Levels K-6 (Elementary) and Levels 7-12 (Secondary). The Elementary Level is designed for children ages 5-12 with little or no previous knowledge of English. It addresses basic reading and language learning skills through age appropriate topics and themes. The Secondary Level is intended for learners from beginning to advanced levels. Both versions have content that is customized to align with states' core reading/language arts standards, the standards of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

N.B. -- Individual online demonstrations available by request. The Q Group

The Q Group PLC is an international leader in the development and marketing of language learning programs and systems providing end-to-end educational solutions for all ages and nationalities in institutional and corporate markets. Founded in 1993, The Q Group has its corporate headquarters in the U.K., with subsidiaries and offices around the world.

CompassLearning

CompassLearning(R) is a leading education technology solutions company. With more than 30 years' experience in research-based instructional technologies, CompassLearning(R) delivers standards-based assessments aligned with pre-K through 12 curriculum and comprehensive data management systems. The company's products support educators, students, and parents in the continual pursuit of improved student achievement.

CompassLearning(R) is part of WRC Media Inc., a leading publishing and media company that creates and distributes innovative supplementary education materials for the school, library, and home markets. In addition to CompassLearning(R), WRC Media's operating companies include World Almanac Education Group, Inc., Weekly Reader Corporation, and WRC Consumer and Custom Publishing Group, which together market some of the best-known brands in educational publishing.

CompassLearning

CONTACT: Dawn Dankner Rosen, +1-914-241-2910, or Tricia Gibney,
+1-212-453-2243, both for CompassLearning

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