The standard Letters, Sounds and Words™ program is available in schools for children in Year 2 Kindergarten, Grades 1 and 2.

Children beyond Grade 2 who are new to learning English, can also benefit from this program. An adaptation of the standard Letters, Sounds and Words program is available for Multilingual Language Learners (MLL) in Grades 3 and 4.

Strong Start® initially received some requests from MLL teachers to use this program with older Multilingual Language Learners. In response to these requests, Strong Start conducted a two year pilot of a program variation which was age appropriate for Multilingual Language Learners in grades 3 and 4. This pilot provided an opportunity to gain a better understanding of how to implement this program for these learners.

From the pilot program and working with skilled MLL teachers, we learned that Multilingual Language Learners in grades 3 and 4 were the ideal candidates for this program.

The purpose of putting Multilingual Language Learners in the program was and continues to be – to help children identify the names of the letters, the sounds that letters make,  to develop the skill of building and reading words, with the side benefits of vocabulary building.

For this program, the direct involvement of the MLL teacher is essential to the success of these learners. It is the MLL teacher who selects the beginner Multilingual Language Learners in grades 3 and 4, who have the readiness skills to participate in this adapted version of the Letters, Sounds and Words program.

This program is not intended to replace the regular school-based MLL support. It is a supplemental, prescriptive program that allows  Multilingual Language Learners more opportunity to receive one-on-one coaching by a volunteer and to develop basic English literacy skills.

Strong Start provides training for the MLL teacher as well as additional support materials for both, the MLL teacher and the Volunteer Coach.