Sep 22, 2010 by Logan De Ley
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A research study was conducted in Western Australia to evaluate the use of Fast ForWord productsfor improving language and literacy skills. This study was conducted by educators at four primary schools in a major metropolitan area of Western Australia. Clinicians with Sonic Hearing, a local private practice, supported the educators with training and expert assistance in Fast ForWord implementation. Across the four schools, 144 students participated in the study.

At the beginning and end of the study, the students’ language and literacy skills were assessed by school personnel, using a battery of tests from the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals and the Queensland University Inventory of Literacy.

The study was conducted using a randomized controlled trial design. Half of the students were randomly assigned to an intervention group, and only the students in this group used the Fast ForWord products during the study. The remaining students were assigned to a control group. Students in the control group did not use the Fast ForWord products until after the study. Research evaluators such as the What Works Clearinghouse consider this type of study to provide strong evidence about an intervention’s effectiveness. The randomized controlled trial design is also known as a “Gold Standard Study.”

The intervention group used the Fast ForWord products for an average of 9 weeks – typically working 50 minutes per day, 5 days per week. Most of the students used two Fast ForWord products, starting on Fast ForWord Language, or Fast ForWord Middle & High School, and then advancing to Fast ForWord Language to Reading.

Scores from the test battery were combined for statistical analysis. The results of this analysis showed that, on average, the students who used Fast ForWord made significantly greater language and literacy gains than the students who did not. These results suggest that using the Fast ForWord products strengthened the students’ foundational skills and better positioned them to benefit from the classroom curriculum.

For more information, please see the Educator Briefingon this study as well as any of our 200+ additional reports on Fast ForWord results. If you have questions about any of our research studies, please contact us.