New web-based platform offers easy access to advanced speech recognition technology, expanding opportunities for guided oral reading with individualized feedback
Senior Vice President of Marketing
Scientific Learning Corporation
Chief Financial Officer
Scientific Learning Corporation
Oakland, Calif. — March 7, 2012 — Students of all ages need ample opportunities to practice reading to build the fluency and comprehension skills that are critical for learning across all subject areas. Yet, in many classrooms, there simply isn’t time to provide enough one-on-one tutoring to help all students adequately develop and strengthen their reading abilities.
With the new web-based Reading Assistant™ software from Scientific Learning Corp. (NASDAQ:SCIL), students can practice reading on their own with one-on-one personalized feedback and guidance and also receive the benefit of direct instruction when it matters most. Reading Assistant software combines advanced speech recognition technology with research-based reading instruction to help students strengthen their reading fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. Using the software, teachers can easily provide individualized, guided oral reading practice for every student, and allow students to read texts multiple times to strengthen their ability to read with speed and accuracy. In addition, when Reading Assistant becomes available on the new MySciLEARN™ on demand platform, planned for later this spring, teachers can extend learning by assigning further reading practice to be completed at home.
Reading Fluency and Technology
Research shows that learning to read with fluency and comprehension depends heavily on individually guided practice and support. According to the April 2000 report of the National Reading Panel, the single best practice for developing students’ reading fluency is one-on-one guided oral reading.
In a new report by Brown University’s Marilyn Jager Adams, a pioneer in literacy research and practice, speech recognition technology is emerging as an effective solution to provide the individual guidance and support that is often beyond the capacity of the traditional classroom. In “Technology for Developing Children's Language and Literacy: Bringing Speech Recognition to the Classroom,” Adams argues that “the principal reason that adequate reading ability eludes so many of our school children is that they fail to gain basic reading fluency.” Yet, a “chronic impasse in the educational mission of our schools is their inability to provide anything close to the amount of individual guided oral reading on which the acquisition of basic fluency depends.”
Adams reports that technology can go a long way toward fixing this problem. “Speech recognition-based reading tutors stand as a cost-effective and scalable means of ensuring ample, individual guided oral reading learning support to every student in our schools,” she stated in her October 2011 report.
Speech Recognition Technology in Schools
Reading Assistant software on its new web-based platform provides schools with instant access to this technology to give students the opportunity to practice reading text orally, and repeatedly, with personalized real-time verification, feedback and support – making the most of each instructional minute.
Students can preview vocabulary, listen to a modeled fluent reading of a passage, and read the passage orally. Using speech recognition technology, Reading Assistant “listens” to each student as he or she reads aloud. The software provides real-time corrective feedback at the moment it is most effective, allowing the student to self-correct and learn from errors. Clickable glossary words with definitions available in English or Spanish build vocabulary, and “Think About It” questions and quizzes at the end of each selection help build comprehension. Teachers receive assessment reports and can listen to audio samples of their students as if they had been sitting next to them while they read.
“In schools using Reading Assistant, students can improve their reading grade level up to 50 percent more than students receiving classroom instruction alone. But teachers across the country tell us the real value of Reading Assistant isn’t only that it helps students learn to read better; it also helps student read to learn. When students can read fluently and with comprehension, they are better able to receive instruction and can improve their learning in all subject areas,” said Sherrelle Walker, chief education officer. “Our results data shows this is true for students of diverse ages and ability levels, including struggling readers, English language learners, and those who are reading on grade level. In many cases, students’ confidence, motivation, and attendance increase as well.”
To give schools and districts maximum flexibility, Reading Assistant’s new web-based platform is deployed as a web-based product from a single server at the district level and is easily implemented for one student or thousands of students, in a variety of learning environments including computer labs, classrooms, before- and after-school programs, and summer school programs.
About Scientific Learning Corp.
We accelerate learning by applying proven research on how the brain learns. Scientific Learning’s results are demonstrated in over 250 research studies and protected by over 55 patents. Learners can realize achievement gains of up to two years in as little as three months and maintain an accelerated rate of learning even after the programs end.
Today, learners have used over 3 million Scientific Learning software products. We provide our offerings directly to parents, K–12 schools and learning centers, and in more than 40 countries around the world. For more information, visit www.scientificlearning.com or call toll-free 888-810-0250.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to the safe harbor created by the federal securities laws. Such statements include, among others, statements relating to new product features and related availability dates. Such statements are subject to substantial risks and uncertainties. Actual events or results may differ materially as a result of many factors, including but not limited to: general economic and financial conditions (including current adverse conditions in government budgets and the general economy); availability of funding to purchase the Company's products and generally available to schools, including the expiration of federal stimulus funding; unexpected challenges in product development; and other risks detailed in the Company's SEC reports, including but not limited to the Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2011 (Part II, Item 1A, Risk Factors), filed November 4, 20 11. The Company disclaims any obligation to update information contained in these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
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