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Language Magazine is a monthly print and online publication that provides cutting-edge information for language learners, educators, and professionals around the world.

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HomeLiteracy/ESLPersonalize Literacy and Language Instruction with E-Books and Audiobooks

Personalize Literacy and Language Instruction with E-Books and Audiobooks

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OverDrive offers teachers an ever-growing collection of tools for literacy and language instruction and access to an extensive digital library of e-books and audiobooks. The digital library offers teachers a way to personalize materials for a variety of student needs. According to the International Literacy Association’s What’s Hot in Literacy 2018 Report, 62% of U.S. educators and 71% of international educators call mother-tongue literacy very important. The diverse catalog of English language arts materials such as novels and biographies offers engaging titles for students of all ages and interests to keep them reading. While most titles in the OverDrive Education catalog are in English, 20,000 titles are offered in languages such as Spanish, French, Arabic, and Chinese, giving students reading options in their mother tongues. Literacy is more than reading, a fact especially obvious for K–12 English learners. The 5 million ELs in the U.S. face challenges linked not only to their ability but to their language limitations. Learning to speak, understand, and read English improves learning outcomes. Digital gives ELs the fastest and easiest entry to reading, whether in their native languages or English, with embedded auxiliary learning tools. Varied formats like audiobooks and read-alongs expand their reading opportunities even further. Read-alongs offer a distinct multisensory reading experience that enhances language learning. While typically serving younger readers, read-alongs provide engaging visual story cues and professional narration which accelerate literacy in English for anyone new to the language. Audiobooks offer pronunciation, syntax, and conversational flow that the written word cannot match.

In 2016, OverDrive entered into a partnership with Simon and Schuster’s Pimsleur Language Programs. ELs benefit from programs in 14 languages, including Spanish, French, Chinese, Arabic, Italian, Russian, German, and Japanese. These digital resources extend instruction, offering private and personalized learning opportunities outside typical classroom time to meet the needs of each student. To learn more about OverDrive Education, visit

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