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Press Release: Nat’l Reading Month: Schools Turning to Speech Recognition Technology to Help Struggling Readers

Oakland, Calif. — March 18, 2014 — Parents and teachers, alike, know the heart-rending experience of watching a child labor to read, stammer and stumble over words, and give up in tears. Events like National Reading Month in March celebrate and highlight the importance of reading, but children who have difficulty with fluency — the ability to read text accurately and with ease — face obstacles that are often difficult to address in today’s high-stakes education climate.

According to a report from the National Reading Panel, “classroom practices that encourage repeated oral reading with feedback and guidance lead to meaningful improvements in reading expertise for students — for good readers as well as those who are experiencing difficulty.” Yet, with a rigorous curriculum and swift pacing guides, few teachers have the time to provide daily one-on-one assistance to help struggling readers become effective readers, or to help good readers become even better readers.

Thanks to educational tools like Scientific Learning Corp.’s Reading Assistant™ students can improve their reading grade level up to 50 percent more than students receiving classroom instruction alone. Reading Assistant uses the power of speech recognition technology to “listen” to students as they read aloud, providing feedback at just the right time. It features a substantial number of non-fiction and fictional texts suitable for a wide range of reading levels. Further, online access makes the program easy to implement for school or home use. Students of diverse ages and abilities can benefit from the program, including K-6 readers, English language learners, and struggling readers in middle and high school.

“When reading is laborious, the last thing children want to do is read more or, even worse, read aloud in front of their peers or their teacher,” said Dr. Martha Burns, a noted neuroscientist and practicing speech and language pathologist in Evanston, Ill. “Yet, reading is essential to children’s success in school and to learning in general, as well as to their social and emotional development. When children struggle with reading, it impacts far more than their reading skills; it affects nearly every part of their daily lives — from their capacity to learn, to their ability to sit in class and listen, to their ability to follow instructions at home, to their feelings of self-confidence and self-worth. If we can give children the right tools to accelerate their acquisition of reading, we can create life-changing results.”

Said Susan Newman, principal of Waresboro Elementary School in Ware County, Ga., “Our teachers have found Reading Assistant to be a great help because it features a range of reading levels to meet their students’ diverse needs. It also gives students the opportunity to practice reading in a way that they enjoy.” Further, since using Reading Assistant, Newman stated that, “Our CRCT scores show that our student performance has progressively increased.”

About Scientific Learning Corp.
We accelerate learning by applying proven research on how the brain learns. Scientific Learning’s results are demonstrated in over 270 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, more than 2.2 million learners have used Scientific Learning software products. We provide our offerings directly to parents, K–12 schools and learning centers, and in more than 45 countries around the world. For more information, visit www.scientificlearning.com or call toll-free 888-810-0250.

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