Meet IXL’s Grammar Gurus!

Get to know the creators of IXL’s language arts program

April 13, 2015


At Home, In the Classroom, Life at IXL

Have you tried out IXL’s fun and interactive English language arts skills? If not, head on over here to explore some of our favorites. If you’re already well versed with our ELA content, read on to learn more about a few of the passionate and fun IXLers that created it!


Rebecca Sanchez, Program Manager

  • What is your role on the team? I manage the team that creates the content for our language arts product; I pay a lot of attention to quality and craftsmanship. I think a lot about the students’ experience of our product and make sure it’s the best it can be.
  • Your team recently launched ELA for high school (9-10): Yes! We added skills that students will see on standardized tests, like tone, intent, context clues – but covered them in a more fun way. We’re also focusing more on content that helps develop students’ writing skills for college and career readiness.
  • What do you want students to gain from IXL language arts? I want students to feel like they can explore all different areas of the English language, and really have fun with it. I want them to become self-driven, use IXL as a tool to improve their writing, and find concepts they didn’t know existed!
  • Do you have a favorite word? I’ve always liked the word “surreptitious.” I learned it because it was an SAT word, but it became a joke among my friends where we tried to fit it in wherever we could, so it’s sort of a nostalgic word for me!


Lara Hochstein, Product Analyst

  • What do you do at IXL? I brainstorm and design questions for grammar, vocabulary, and writing skills. One of the skills I worked on recently was Homophones with pictures – it was fun to work with an illustrator to come up with images. I’m also working on developing content for Kindergarten and 1st grade!
  • What do you hope students and teachers take away from IXL’s ELA program? I hope they will gain clarity and confidence with ELA concepts. I also hope that they’ll gain an interest in language on a higher level – in addition to basic grammar skills, we have more exploratory skills, like learning where words come from.
  • What’s your favorite figurative language device? Onomatopoeia – that’s when a word mimics the sound it makes, like “quack!” What’s really cool about it is how it differs across languages – like in Japanese, frogs say “kero kero,” and in English they say “ribbit!”


Steve Johnson, Product Analyst

  • Why is it important to have a strong foundation in language arts? Anything that you do as far as interaction with others involves language. When you study language arts, you’re not just studying English, you’re studying how to communicate in any field. Whether you’re looking at history or science or mathematics, you have to be able to communicate your ideas.
  • What do you want students to learn from IXL? I hope it gives people a new way of looking at language. A lot of the skills that we have really show why it’s important to use grammar correctly. For example, we have a skill that deals with how punctuation and the way you write can create meaningful differences in how people will understand you. Many of our skills are really fun, like Errors with signs, so I hope students are entertained and enjoy what they’re learning.
  • What’s your favorite word? “Agathocacological,” which means possessing both the qualities of good and evil. It’s a long, interesting word that’s composed of word parts that have different meanings across different languages!


Eva Holtz, Senior Product Analyst

  • What is your role on the team? My job is to think about the best way for students to practice language arts skills – what the content and interaction should be like. My major was linguistics and I’m a huge etymology nerd, so I work on a lot of the vocabulary skills, such as sorting words by Greek and Latin roots.
  • What do you hope students take away from IXL language arts? We try to pay a lot of attention to what makes a certain concept easier or harder – so I hope the energy we put into ramping up the difficulty is useful to them and scaffolds their learning. I also hope they have fun along the way – for example, I learned about the Equal Rights Amendment yesterday from one of the passages we used on IXL!
  • What is your favorite punctuation mark? The interrobang – a hybrid of a question mark and exclamation point. It’s adorable!
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All Comments (8)

haley April 14, 2015 at 10:16 am

I love to work on ixl it is so interesting and fun and all activites are outstanding


The IXL Team April 14, 2015 at 10:49 am

Thanks Haley – we’re so glad you enjoy learning with us!


DanTDM April 21, 2015 at 3:25 am

Hi, i have an account on ixl and ic ant remember the secret word/password.
just heard about new update/


The IXL Team April 21, 2015 at 8:42 am

Hi Dan – Please contact our support team at or (877) 282-4400 ext. 1 and we’d be happy to help you log in!


Syeda Aafreen July 12, 2015 at 12:33 pm

Since they made a game board thing for math, they should have one for language arts so please add one. More kids would be interested in doing it.


The IXL Team July 13, 2015 at 8:31 am

Hi Syeda – we agree! We are in the process of developing gameboards for language arts, so stay tuned!


Natalie July 23, 2015 at 7:34 am

Hey, so I am working on 8th grade ELA and can’t quite get the “Identify Adverbs” I cannot get above a 78% and maybe you could change it to make it easier to understand? I mean, I’ve done about 200 questions on it and I really want to master that skill so I don’t have one skill that is a 72% constantly. And the “Identify Active and Passive Voice” because I can’t understand that one either. Thanks!


iretiogo July 29, 2016 at 1:11 pm

i luv IXL.It is awesome,it has changed my life so positively.


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