Using Nessy For ESL


nessy esl


Nessy Reading & Spelling is an ideal tool to help ESL learners. Starting from the very beginning the program allows you to get to grips with the oddities of the English language and build the key foundations of reading & spelling you’ll need moving forward. Teaching is through a multisensory format that means repetition of lessons on particular words or concepts doesn’t get tiring or frustrating as each video and game reinforces the lesson in different ways.

We’ve had amazing success with Nessy in the US and seeing it used effectively as an ESL tool has been fantastic. Previous studies have shown that children learning Nessy show an improvement of over one grade level in just 3.5 months. Our current ESL studies have only gone on to reinforce this proven efficacy.



Greater Ideal Learning Center

UK Research Report
Nessy in South Africa
Nessy in New York



The Greater Ideal Learning Center

dyslexia center nessy


Tiffany James, our Head of Educational Development and founder/owner of The Reading Center, Texas was approached by Pat Berkibile, a board member from the Greater Ideal Learning Center asking for a consultation.

They had become aware of The Reading Center because of work Tiffany was already doing for the granddaughter of a member of their board. They report that this girl, after being served by one of the tutors at The Reading Center, went from not being able to read anything, to being on the A-list honor roll within 6 months.

The board wanted to know if this kind of academic success could be brought to the community on a large scale if they could arrange the resources to do so. Using Nessy, Tiffany designed a program to serve serve a large group of children, most of whom were learning English.


Using Nessy

nessy for english learners

The program began in the autumn of 2016. Since it’s beginning the students have experienced big growth in academics and in confidence. Children that spoke no English when they were tested in September were speaking and reading in English by Christmastime.

The program is offered 3 nights a week. Students and their families ariive at 5 pm for a meal, then work one hour on Nessy Reading & Spelling and one hour on math.

The success was such that Nessy has even provided extra licenses to The Greater Ideal Learning Center to allow parents to learn English alongside their children and grandchildren.


“The Greater Ideal Learning Center was started to serve students in our community who needed more intense remediation in reading and math. The Nessy Reading and Spelling program has enabled our students to greatly improve their reading levels, instilled a sense of accomplishment and given them a joy of learning.”


The Results

learning to read nessy
The average growth for the ESL students that have attended regularly, thus having good usage, was 1.05 grade levels at last testing (around January). So they have achieved a years worth of growth (in reading and spelling English) in 3.5 months of working about 2 hours a week on Nessy.

The program has worked so well with the 25  mostly ESL 3rd graders, that it is being expanded to 150-200 student this year for their summer camp program. The Greater Ideal Learning Center is hosting a research project/pilot  there. All of their campers will use Nessy products daily during the summer.


UK Research Report

Nessy Reading & Spelling was used in a 12-month study of 465 bilingual children aged 8 to 11. 55 schools participated in the project. Over 43 different first languages were represented.

This research project explored the impact of a structured multi-sensory intervention program, that incorporated language development and dyslexia-friendly strategies, on the literacy, written language skills and learning experiences of bilingual children, who are learning English as a second language.
The project found:

  • 88% of the reading specialists reported that the children had enjoyed participating in the intervention.
  • Over 60% of reading specialists thought that their children’s reading speed, listening comprehension and writing had improved.
  • 92% of the teaching assistants felt it had helped reading (8% neutral).
  • 77% felt it had helped spelling (16% neutral).
  • 80% felt it was effective overall (7% neutral).
  • 90% would recommend the intervention activities to others (5% neutral).

All the teaching assistants stated that the children had enjoyed using Nessy and found it easy to use. Teaching assistants indicated that the children had gained from using Nessy and that the training and materials would be useful to the school in the future. They looked forward to continuing to use the materials as they felt that children had grown in confidence and made progress.


“Her writing shows greater confidence she is able to write longer, sustained pieces of text using more adventurous vocabulary. She has a wider spelling vocabulary of high frequency words and attempts at less familiar words show some phonic awareness.”


Nessy in South Africa

english learners
In 2014 Vergezicht became the first Nessy pilot school in South Africa, raising dyslexia awareness in their area and using Nessy as an ESL tool, with great results.

Since using Nessy they have seen as much as 2 years reading age improvement in just one year, allowing their students to move on to high school and continue to develop and improve their English skills.

You can read more about the partnership here.



Nessy in New York


In 2013 we undertook an ESL pilot study in New York. The results were incredible with students using Nessy going from Spanish-only to fluent in English in just 11 weeks. Principal Kong saw huge gains in student confidence, engagement and reading ability.

And the staff gave great feedback too, saying they found it easy to integrate and understand the Nessy technology because the PD showed them how to enhance their lessons.

Suzannah Moran, senior PD consultant, was amazed by the student success when Nessy was combined with her training.


The Results:

Students in Grades 1-3 used Nessy for 15-20 minutes a day.

  • Grade 1 reading scores went up 17 points
  • Grade 2 reading went up 19.73 points
  • Grade 3 reading went up by 23.65 points

Students were so engaged they would go on Nessy while waiting for class. Even students with attention difficulties could focus upon the Nessy learning activities.


Nessy is proud to be used worldwide and the results speak for themselves. Click the links below take a free trial or to read more Nessy case studies!