English Learners Need a Better Access Point to Math

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The Challenge

English learners (ELs) make up one out of every 10 students and are the fastest-growing group in public school classrooms. 

In total, ELs in U.S. public schools speak over 400 different languages including Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Hmong.

When math is presented only as words and numbers on a page, ELs can miss out on crucial opportunities to understand the meaning behind the math.


Inspiring English Learners to Change the World Through Math

All students are math language learners. Math is especially difficult because it is a whole new language.

ST Math’s patented game-based visual learning approach activates the brain’s spatial-temporal reasoning skills, providing all students, including ELs, with a deeper understanding of math concepts. Spatial-temporal reasoning and the Perception-Action Cycle approach within ST Math works for ELs because ST Math:

  • Presents math problems and concepts visually 
  • Allows interactive, self-directed exploration
  • Delivers scaffolded, mastery-based learning
  • Introduces mathematical language in strategic intervals
  • Provides data and real-time, formative feedback so students can monitor their progress and adjust their solution path
  • Encourages rich discourse through puzzle talks




When ELs can problem solve without distractions, educators see dramatic results in achievement.

Before ST Math, EL students were at 34% proficiency in math compared to 44% proficiency after playing ST Math. See full report»


"I love that my EL students are able to solve puzzles independently. The look of accomplishment on their faces when they finish a level without me! ST Math meets the needs of my diverse classroom easily. I can do a math chat with one group and assign specific puzzles to another. The options are now endless."
Kristina Bartko, 4th grade math & science teacher
Sayreville Public Schools, New Jersey
"Using ST Math to launch a new math concept allows all students to start on the same playing field regardless of their background knowledge. It facilitates conversations among students to notice and ask questions about patterns and make predictions about what might happen, as the math is the missing piece to really help students develop visual conceptual knowledge before moving on to abstract symbols in mathematics."
Kerien Driscoll, EL teacher
Lowell Public Schools, Massachusetts
"ST Math is the best program choice for us because it aligns to our established district priorities, is accessible to all students, and keeps grade level content a priority. Its accessibility to all students was a huge selling point…because barriers such as language, the ability to hear, and/or English proficiency are non-existent."
Courtney Davis, blended learning and MIZ coordinator
Crowley Independent School District, Texas

ST Math on Accessibility and Equity
When Teaching Math to English Learners


  • Increases entry points for all proficiency levels of ELs
  • Provides a method for ELs to demonstrate their mathematical understanding, reasoning, and problem-solving skills
  • Provides visual models for ELs to understand math concepts
  • Visually presents feedback which allows ELs to learn from their mistakes


  • Allows on-grade level learning through accessible entry levels and scaffolding
  • Introduces language carefully and strategically to represent the concepts students already understand
  • Supports students to problem solve and critically think by engaging them in highly-motivational puzzles
  • Instead of remediating ELs, ST Math makes math achievement fair for everyone


Ready to see the difference for all students
including English Learners?
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