Access: Language Arts App & Software: Researched and Proven!


If you are a middle school special education teacher, you may already be familiar with grade-aligned Teaching to Standards: English Language Arts, a blended curriculum that includes our Access: Language Arts iPad app and software. Access: Language Arts was developed as a result of a research grant through the U.S. Department of Education’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, partnering with Dr. Pamela Mims of East Tennessee State University.

Access: Language Arts complements TTS:ELA by offering read-alouds with professional narration for the adapted fiction and nonfiction books. New, updated versions of the software and app are shipping now, and they include eight read-alouds (twice as many as previous versions)!


Access: Language Arts Structure

  • Chapters include vocabulary instruction on both identification and meaning.
  • Each preview is followed by a prediction question.
  • The vocabulary words in each chapter are underlined and defined in the story.
  • Each adapted story is followed by a vocabulary quiz and comprehension questions across Bloom’s Taxonomy.

How Access: Language Arts Complements TTS: ELA

Two of the nonfiction stories in TTS:ELA, The Diary of Anne Frank and Sadako and a Thousand Paper Cranes, are scripted as plays in TTS:ELA. In ALA, these nonfiction books are adapted stories so that students can read the story in ALA in order to gain background and context prior to participating in the play with TTS:ELA.


Access: Language Arts Features

  • Fiction books have twenty vocabulary words per book, four per chapter set.
  • Vocabulary words have been carefully selected to enhance understanding of the story.
  • Comprehension questions are more challenging in the App and software.
  • A “hint” is available to automatically go back to the page where the information is located in order to answer the question.
  • The System of Least Prompts, error correction and specific praise is built into the app and software.
  • Because students sign in, their answers are automatically stored as results, and the results can be emailed to a teacher.


Authentic Classroom Research

Across the two SBIR research grants (Phase I and Phase II), four single-subject research protocols were conducted with a multiple probe across students design. In all four single subject research studies, students improved in their correct responses across the intervention, as compared to baseline. Across the last year of the SBIR research project, 53 students participated in a Randomized Control Trial across 13 classrooms. Approximately half of the classrooms used Access: Language Arts as the intervention while the control classrooms used a PDF version of the adapted book on the iPad and teachers provided typical ELA instruction without ALA. The intervention students’ scores increased at a significantly higher level than the control group in comprehension for ALA.

Let us know in the comments if you have any questions about implementing these materials in your classroom!

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