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CodeHS has several features that can help ELLs succeed in their computer science courses. This article will describe these features as well as provide some additional strategies for ELLs.

Block Coding

You can enable block coding (rather than typing code) on a per-student basis to assist students whose language or typing skills are inhibiting their progress. From your roster page:

  1. Click the gear icon next to the student's name
  2. Toggle the Blocks setting for modules, lessons, or even specific assignments:
Animated .gif showing how to enable blocks for individual students

For more about Block Settings, check out this article: Block Settings

Enable Closed Captions on YouTube

To enable YouTube-generated Closed Captions for videos, select YouTube at the start of a video and then click CC to enable subtitles. Click the gear to switch subtitle language to Auto-translate and select a language:

Screenshot of the video page showing YouTube option
Screenshot of the bottom of a YouTube embedded video highlighting where to turn on Closed Captions
Screenshot of the Auto-Translate and Closed Captions features on YouTube

Use Slides to Review Concepts

While instructional videos are ideal for some, other students may benefit from viewing the Slides, especially if they struggle with the speaking pace. Students can take notes and work at their own pace (rather than the pace of the video speaker).

Students can access the Slides for any video by selecting Slides at the top:

Screenshot of Video page highlighting where students can click to switch to Slides at the top

CodeHS Glossary

At, you can find a full list of terms and definitions used in the CodeHS curriculum. You can filter by language (JavaScript, Python, HTML, etc). using the search bar. Click on any term to show an example:

Animated .gif showing how students can use the CodeHS Glossary

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Printable Handouts, Quizzes, and Slides

Many lesson plans include additional worksheets, handouts, and physical activities to help make some of the more abstract concepts of programming more accessible. These activities can help students think about solving problems in a variety of ways.

With CodeHS Pro, teachers have the ability to print slides, quizzes, handouts, and other resources, which can be an excellent adaptation for ELLs. To print a resource:

  1. Click into a section
  2. Click the blue Resources button
  3. Navigate to a lesson plan and click the Lesson Plan button to load all resources
  4. Find and print any slides, quiz, or handouts:
Animated .gif showing how to find printable handouts and slides

Additional Strategies

Personal Dictionary and Flash Cards

Using the CodeHS Glossary, Students can make flash cards or create a personal dictionary to help reinforce programming concepts. Encourage students to draw pictures, use different colored pens, and/or paraphrase definitions using their own words. For ELLs, it may be helpful to make additional flashcards highlighting capitalization, syntax, and common commands. Students can also use the Docs tab as a guide to create these study tools.

Word Wall

A vocabulary word wall in the classroom can include vocabulary from each lesson or module. The word wall can be printed and hung on a wall of the classroom to serve as yet another interactive and visual tool for students.

Still have questions? Contact our team at to learn more!

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