When most people think of Novel Effect, their minds instantly go to engaged elementary school students during a classroom read-aloud. What many don’t realize is that Novel Effect is a fantastic tool that is helping build literacy, community, and confidence for a much broader audience.
In this new blog series, The Novel Effect, we will dive deeper into a unique Novel Effect use case scenario and how it is changing the lives of learners you don’t instantly think of when you think “Novel Effect”. For our first installation, the Novel Effect team sat down with Florida-based ELL (English Language Learner) educator, Renee Belvis, who uses Novel Effect to teach baseball players English!
Teaching ELL Students with Novel Effect
Since 2018, Renee has worked with the international players of the Phillies’ minor league baseball team, the Clearwater Threshers. She learned about Novel Effect via Twitter, while looking for engaging content for teaching her ELL students. The app was a grand slam with her players! Even as adults in their late teens and early 20s, they love the sound effects and music the app creates while they read aloud and learn English.
Renee was recently contacted by an elementary school teacher based in Wyoming, looking for out-of-state baseball teams interested in being pen pals with her class as a part of her baseball-themed reading program. Instantly thinking of Novel Effect, Renee decided to use the app to showcase her students’ progress. The team set to work and created read-aloud videos for their pen pals, using Novel Effect!
Once all of their videos were complete, Renee compiled every last video into an ebook created through fellow EdTech app, Book Creator, to make the videos easy to share. Book Creator makes it simple for kids and their grown-ups to build content for the classroom that is interactive, engaging, and fun!
Teaching ELL Students with Novel Effect: An Interview with Renee Belvis
Below, find our interview with Renee about her journey into ELL education, her work with the Clearwater Threshers, and how Novel Effect impacts teaching ELL students.
Novel Effect: As an educator with over 20 years of experience, what inspired you to start teaching ELL students?
Novel Effect: What are some of the biggest challenges you face when teaching your students and has Novel Effect helped you face these challenges?
Novel Effect: What is your favorite part about using Novel Effect?
Novel Effect: Has there been a time when you saw Novel Effect truly make an impact on one of the player’s ELL journeys?
Novel Effect: Do you and your players have a favorite story on Novel Effect?
RB: When selecting books for our pen pal project, I took the difficulty level into consideration, book availability at my local library, and the overall message and theme of the books.
Out of the titles I selected, they all really liked Gibberish by Young Vo because they could identify with the issues the character in the story faced. They also liked I Promise by LeBron James because they all know who he is and they are also athletes.