British International School of Jeddah Improves Student Performance While Simplifying Teacher Workloads
Carolyn teaches students from almost all levels in BISJ’s secondary division and incorporates Membean in a variety of classes. Carolyn used a more standardized vocabulary program with her students before 2017, but has since become a “proponent of Membean” after discovering its many benefits. Currently, all students in Years 7 through 9 at the British International School of Jeddah improve their foundational vocabularies through weekly Membean engagement.
“There is a direct correlation between the amount of time students spend on Membean and improvements to their accuracy.”
Students are motivated by a sense of competition and accomplishment prompted by the program's detailed data analysis—and they love earning quarterly certificates. Faculty observed significant improvement among Key Stage 3 students using Membean over a sixth-month period; for these students, the program's efficacy as a vocabulary development tool is clear. However, Membean also facilitates teachers' work. In addition to saving time otherwise spent drilling vocabulary, Carolyn observes that Membean's data tracking has proven very useful for documentation
“We regularly undergo high-stake inspections from accrediting bodies like the Ministry of Education, CIE, NEASC, the IB, and provide ongoing quantitative data to parents on student progress. It feels at times that the reporting and feedback cycle is a never-ending loop.”
Access to data showing marked gains towards strategic, measurable goals makes it easier for staff to highlight their great work–and Carolyn notes that some students improved by as much as 45-85% after six months of applied practice. Furthermore, after identifying disparities affecting older students, teachers have been able to provide targeted interventions to minimize achievement gaps. Carolyn believes that these improvements are apparent across disciplines, a point she hopes to convey to colleagues in other departments.
“The way Membean teaches students to actually read questions more carefully is an invaluable tool.”
Carolyn and her English department colleagues at The British International School of Jeddah are passionate in their belief that English is more than a specific subject: it's about learning. Over time, students engaged in Membean are learning far more than word meanings and correct spelling. They are learning how to understand and approach questions they'll encounter on tests. In essence, students who use Membean are learning how to learn.