Nov 9, 2010 by Peter Carabi
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Scientific Learning International

Most readers of this blog are familiar with some of the “life-changing” stories associated with the use of Scientific Learning (SLC) programs (Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant) in schools and clinics in North America.  But did you know that these same remarkable results are being achieved with students all over the world?  While the use of our programs continues to expand in North America via sales to school districts and in conjunction with private providers, the company also has a growing international presence.   Currently, SLC has a network of 25 Value Added Representatives (VARs) who provide our programs in over 45 countries (for a list of VARs and their countries.  To obtain a list of our VARs, please visit http://www.scilearn.com/company/international/list-of-intl-vars/.  The growth of the international market for SLC is considered a high priority, and is fueled by increasing awareness of brain fitness and the role of cognitive neuroscience in the learning process, as well as a keen emphasis (especially in Asian countries) on English language learning as a prerequisite for career success.

Our VAR network is composed of expert implementers of our programs, with backgrounds in such areas as speech pathology, English language learning, audiology, physical therapy, and reading theory.  In most cases, VARs deliver Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant in combination with other interventions, therapies, and curricula, to address the particular needs various sub-groups of users.  Most VARs have developed strategies to address the needs of different segments of their local users. For instance, most VARs have one or more of their own after school-day learning centers.  In addition, they usually develop a network of “sub providers” (who can be composed of therapists, tutoring or language learning center operators, or other specialists).  Finally, many VARs also conduct direct sales efforts to public and private schools.  In each case, the kinds of “value added” services they provide will vary according to the needs of the partner or end user.

In addition to the many instances amongst our VARs of life-changing stories of success with individual students, several international research studies have been conducted which have added to the mounting library of evidence of the efficacy of our programs.  These studies (visit http://www.scilearn.com/scientifically-based-research/international/10/) include research from Singapore, Germany, Bermuda, India, Australia, the UK, Ireland, Philippines, and Thailand. 

It has taken time for the concept of brain fitness to gain widespread acceptance in North America.  The same is true internationally.  But recent events have dramatically demonstrated that educators and parents around the world are beginning to understand the power of our programs to build brain fitness, increase academic performance, address specific learning disorders, and enhance English language proficiency.   For instance, in the area of special needs, in 2009 the Australian Government’s Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs named Fast ForWord as an approved intervention for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs).  In South Korea, our local VAR partner (which has over 120 sub partners and school clients) has an official relationship with the Korea Association of Primary English Education (KAPEE) as a result of KAPEE’s observation of the success of Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant to help students quickly increase their English reading and speaking proficiency.  And, in China, preliminary results of research conducted in conjunction with two prestigious universities (Peking University and Beijing Normal University) has shown impressive results for Chinese students using Fast ForWord. 

More information about our VAR program can be found at www.scilearn.com/international.  Our VARs are a committed, caring group of professionals who are happy to share what they have learned about our programs, and they always extend warm invitations to visitors who may be traveling in their countries on vacation and/or business, to visit their centers and learn more about how they incorporate our programs into their businesses.  For more information, you can contact me at pcarabi@scilearn.com.