The Language Arts program that OCA utilizes is LANGUAGE. This is a research-based literacy intervention curriculum from Sopris West.
LANGUAGE! is designed for students with delays in reading who have not experienced success by means of conventional reading/language arts programs. It has proven to be highly effective with our specific special-education population.
LANGUAGE! provides practice on the road to mastery of the most basic aspects of the code of written English. The program integrates 18 language arts strands, but its core strand teaches the alphabetic code—the code upon which written English is based. The explicit instructions assist students in learning to decode and recognize words and develop fluency. Upon entry to OCA, all students are given the WRAT test in decoding, encoding, and computation. Those students who fall below the thirtieth percentile in decoding and encoding are “flagged” as learners who could benefit from the specialization of the LANGUAGE! program. Students are then given LANGUAGE! placement tests in reading, grammar, and spelling and are placed into the appropriate instructional level.
The LANGUAGE! pilot study involved adjudicated middle and high school students with limited literacy. During approximately 22 weeks of participation, documented average gains of three years in reading, comprehension, composition, and spelling were reported. The program has proven successful in providing remediation to identified students.