WALTHAM, Mass., October 11, 2006–Soliloquy Learning, Inc., announced today the release of Soliloquy Reading Assistant Version 4.0, an enhanced version of the company’s signature reading program that combines advanced speech recognition technology with scientifically-based interventions to help elementary and secondary students strengthen their reading fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. The new developments in Soliloquy Reading Assistant 4.0 include:
*Web Delivery – Soliloquy Reading Assistant will now be available for use online from any PC or Macintosh computer with Internet access, and will be maintained on secure Soliloquy Learning servers enabling students, teachers and administrators to access the program from school, district office or home.
*Predictive Reporting – New reporting capabilities allow teachers and administrators to evaluate fluency scores, and to leverage Soliloquy Reading Assistant’s extensive database to predict end of year fluency performance against national norms.
*Speech Recognition Enhancements – Improved acoustical models adapt uniquely to each individual after a short one-time read of a few sentences.
*English Language Learner (ELL) Support – Teachers have the option of enabling a Spanish dictionary for ELL students to view and hear vocabulary descriptions in Spanish.
*New Middle School and High School Content – Soliloquy Reading Assistant is now available with 149 science and social studies passages on topics prevalent on high stakes tests.
*Enhanced User Interface – Students are guided through proper learning processes, and motivated to read both more and better by Soliloquy Reading Assistant’s unique PowerPoints reward system.
“After the success of Soliloquy Reading Assistant 3.0, we spent significant time listening to the feedback from teachers, administrators and students to develop Reading Assistant 4.0,” said Jon Bower, CEO of Soliloquy Learning. “Along with enhanced reporting capabilities, ELL support and a more sophisticated speech models, we’re extremely proud of the first-ever Internet delivery of Reading Assistant. Internet delivery will eliminate the need for schools to host the program on their own servers, and grant students and teachers 24/7 access to a program that has proven to foster significant reading fluency gains.”
Soliloquy Reading Assistant works by having students read e-books into a computer using a standard headset and microphone. Through Soliloquy Reading Assistant’s proprietary speech-recognition technology, the program “listens” and recognizes when readers stumble or make mistakes on specific words. When a student struggles, the program assists him/her by reading the word clearly, meanwhile making records in the background for later review. When they do not know a word’s meaning, students can simply click it to gain access to a context-sensitive definition, pronunciation and photographic memory aid. As they read along, students can have Soliloquy Reading Assistant read the story to them or record and play back their own readings, while they accumulate PowerPoints which are earned for fast and accurate reading and correct answers to comprehension questions. These points are then logged into a users’ account and can be incorporated into a rewards program in a classroom.
“Soliloquy Reading Assistant is based on the fact that reading one-on-one with an active and supportive listener–also known as Guided Oral Reading–is shown by research to be a singularly powerful method for enhancing fluency and overall reading growth in students,” said Dr. Marilyn Jager Adams, Chief Research Scientist for Soliloquy Learning. “The program re-produces a dedicated, patient, and helpful listener for each student, offering a compelling supplemental resource for teachers to multiply each student’s oral reading practice in class or at home.”
As a student progresses through Soliloquy Reading Assistant’s e-books, the program builds comprehensive records of what each student has read, his/her speed and accuracy on each reading, and of the specific words and segments of text with which the student experienced difficulty. Comprehension questions are given during, and at the end of certain passages, to develop and test the student’s ability to understand what he/she has just read. The program records each student’s reading passages. These recordings can be accessed later by teachers, or sent home to parents as MP3 files.
Soliloquy Reading Assistant is available for students in grades 1-12, plus adult remedial reading programs. For elementary students (grades 1-6), reading content is drawn from children’s stories, poems and expository passages to build literature appreciation. For secondary students (6-12), content is drawn from science and social studies subjects required by many state standards. Since its launch in 2000, various versions of Soliloquy Reading Assistant have been used by over 5,000 schools across the country. For more information visit http://www.soliloquylearning.com or call 1-877-235-6036.
About Soliloquy Learning, Inc.
Founded in 2000, Soliloquy Learning has pioneered new and highly effective methods for dramatically improving reading and language skills. The company’s flagship product, Soliloquy Reading Assistant, provides one-on-one reading support, using proprietary speech recognition technology to listen to students as they read aloud. Based on the research of renowned literacy expert, Dr. Marilyn Jager Adams, Soliloquy Reading Assistant has been proven to foster fluency, comprehension and vocabulary acquisition through Guided Oral Reading, the proven in research studies to be the best approach for fostering reading progress beyond the basics. Soliloquy Learning is a privately held company based in Waltham, Mass. For more information visit: http://www.soliloquylearning.com.