Build The English Brain for English Language Learners

English Language Development

With a brain “wired” for the Hebrew language, learning English can be slow and labored. Students with limited or no English-speaking proficiency need more than just instruction in recognizing and distinguishing the sounds of English, as compared or contrasted with sounds in their native language.


The Build English Fast™ program is a combination of Fast ForWord® software and  Reading Assistant™  software, which listens to students as they read aloud.

Fast ForWord is an online reading intervention that uses the principles of neuroplasticity–the ability of the brain to rewire and improve–to accelerate English language learning. Fast ForWord is uniquely designed to build the listening, speaking, and reading skills for beginning language learners.

Reading Assistant is the only online reading tool that uses speech recognition to support English Language Learners as they read aloud.

Why do English Language Learners struggle with reading?

Students with limited or no English speaker proficiency need instruction in recognizing and distinguishing the sounds of English as compared or contrasted with sounds in Hebrew.

Sounds of the world’s languages differ greatly, e.g. English has 44 phonemes, Hebrew has 25 to 27 consonants phonemes and 8 to 10 vowels phonemes, depending on the speaker and the analysis.

It’s time for a different approach.

Through English sound training exercises, children’s brains become “wired” to hear and quickly process the phonemes of English.

Three steps to Build English Fast:

Prepare the brain to “hear” English:

Language and Literacy series (also referred to as the Brain Training program) is the auditory teaching of language. Exercises uniquely targets the phonemes of English to build the foundational skills required for all literacy.

With brains ‘wired’ for English, listening comprehension and all language development happens faster and easier.

Practice English language skills, intensively.

Students make fast English improvement by practicing the right language skills, in a personalized, and intensive manner. Students complete 1000s of trials practicing grammar, academic vocabulary and listening comprehension skills needed for fast language development.

Exercises adapt to each student to keep them motivated, while providing just the right challenge.

Guided students as they read aloud.

Reading Assistant gives a  child the opportunity to practice oral reading. It’s patented software “listens” to students as they read English aloud, and corrects them if they make a mistake, offering support right when they need it.


Does Fast ForWord Work?

The ability to read starts with how the brain perceives and processes sound. Fast ForWord directly targets the underlying causes of language and reading difficulty. Here’s how the program builds the brain’s superhighways for reading and learning:

This model is proven to rapidly improve language and reading skills for even the most struggling learners.

English Language Development Skills Addressed by the Build English


  • Advanced listening accuracy
  • Multi-step directions
  • Language comprehension
  • All forms of English grammar
  • Vocabulary
  • English phoneme discrimination


  • Oral reading of texts of various complexity
  • Support practice speaking English aloud
  • Speech production of multisyllabic words
  • Repeated readings to build English language oral and reading fluency


  • English phonemic awareness
  • Word analysis: suffixes, prefixes, root words
  • Close reading
  • Figurative language
  • Academic vocabulary
  • Answer questions about key details in a text
  • Abstract reasoning
  • Summarization


  • Spelling
  • Grammar
  • Basic and academic vocabulary
  • Recognizing, ordering, and constructing sentences
  • Paragraph completion and ordering

Researched by top universities

Featured Resources

Webinars for English Language Learners

Build the ELL Brain
Presenter: Martha S. Burns, Ph.D.

Length: 45 minutes

Join Dr. Martha Burns as she reviews the newest research on the ELL brain, the advantages of true bilingualism, and how effective technological adjuncts can build the English brain, quickly, moving ELL students to proficiency.

How the ELL Brain Learns
Presenter: David Sousa, Ed.D.

Length: 60 minutes

What does the latest research reveal about the ELL brain? In this session, Dr. Sousa will provide an overview of how the young brain acquires the first language, and then look at how trying to learn a second language affects brain development.

Reading English as a Second Language: Challenges and Solutions
Presenter: Dr. Virginia Mann

Dr. Virginia Mann discusses the benefits of early immersion in English, the need for phoneme awareness in any language, and the challenge of morphology—homophones, irregular verbs and nouns and vocabulary. She also introduces the Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant programs.

Infographic / Article (click to enlarge)

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