Called Leamos para Avanzar: Un programa de lectura para niños (Let's Read to Advance: A reading program for children), this adapted version of the HELPS One-on-One program is intended for any student learning to read in Spanish—including students living in Spanish speaking countries and dual language learners.
Although there are numerous cultural and language-based variables that should be considered when translating or adapting an instructional program from one language to another, there are some meaningful similarities in the ways that reading development occurs for English and Spanish speakers. In particular, early readers in both languages benefit from developing strong reading fluency abilities, which therefore helps to facilitate reading comprehension.
In addition, dual language learners who speak Spanish as their first language may also benefit from reading instruction with materials written in Spanish, and may therefore benefit from Leamos para Avanzar.
Preliminary research with Spanish-speaking, non-dual language learners has shown that fluency-based instructional strategies—like those used in HELPS—improve these students' reading fluency. Also, a pilot study of the Leamos para Avanzar curriculum of 100 passages, conducted in Ecuador, helped to appropriately sequence the curriculum. However, additional research is needed to evaluate the effects of specifically using Leamos para Avanzar with Spanish-speaking students who get nearly all of their instruction in Spanish (e.g., students living in Spanish speaking countries) and with students who get at least some of their instruction in Spanish (e.g., dual language learners).
Call for Research Collaboration
We believe that collaboration between educational practitioners (e.g., those working in schools) and university researchers is necessary for doing research and advancing what educators know about effective and ineffective teaching strategies. Oftentimes, successful collaboration can be accomplished across regions, states, and countries. If you are interested in discussing a collaborative research effort that examines the effects of Leamos para Avanzar, please contact us, as we would enjoy discussing this possibility.
Some Program Details
The Leamos para Avanzar instructional procedures, protocols, and forms were professionally translated from the HELPS One-on-One Program. Most of the 100 Leamos para Avanzar instructional passages (i.e., the curriculum) were loosely translated from the English passages found in the HELPS Curriculum. More specifically, most passages from the English version were directly translated but then substantially modified to improve the readability and cultural appropriateness of each passage. Also, a small number of passages from the English curriculum were not translated at all due to cultural appropriateness, so some new passages were written for the Spanish curriculum.
Translations and adaptations of the Leamos para Avanzar curriculum included more than a dozen translators and at least six reviews and revisions of each passage. Also, the difficulty and variability of Leamos para Avanzar curriculum was specifically evaluated to determine appropriate passages and an appropriate sequence of passages that progressively increase in difficulty. Thus, this sequence of passages is not the same as the English version of similar passages, which would be expected because there is no evidence to suggest that an English version of a story has the same oral reading fluency difficulty level as a similar Spanish version of the story.
Vocabulary and content of the passages within the Leamos para Avanzar curriculum were intended to be culturally appropriate (in general) for the wide range of Spanish-speaking individuals living in predominantly Spanish-speaking countries (e.g., Spain and the many Spanish-speaking countries throughout Latin America). Of course, the unique and special characteristics and norms of all countries, regions, and dialects could not be captured within the curriculum. For this reason, we are interested in receiving input from educators about any passage within the curriculum that might be modified to make the specific vocabulary more consistent with that particular region. As a result, this website would then offer versions of the Leamos para Avanzar curriculum that could be selected by educators as more specifically aligned with, for example, Spain, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, etc. Until that time, educators should find the current version of this Spanish curriculum appropriate for all Spanish-speaking students.
Accessing the Materials for Leamos para Avanzar
To access materials, Login to your account, go to the Materials tab, and then look to the left for the menu of options. Click on HELPS in Spanish (Leamos para Avanzar), and then from that page you can download the needed materials. Alternatively, you can also purchase the program materials printed, bound, and ready to use for as little as $30—and 100% of your purchase will go to The Helps Education Fund non-profit organization that is dedicated to improving children’s education nationally and internationally.
HELPS for ParentsThe HELPS Program for parents will be specifically designed to make it easier for parents to use HELPS accurately in the home, especially for parents who have little to no background in literacy instruction.
Learn more about this program, such as which educators have used the program successfully, which students should benefit most from the program, and how educators can obtain the program and training for free.