LAKE ALFRED, Fla. March 12, 2007 – Lake Alfred Elementary School has recognized Soliloquy Reading Assistant for helping to significantly improve the reading fluency of its Exceptional Student Education (ESE) students. Providing a one-to-one guided oral reading experience using propriety speech recognition technology, Soliloquy Reading Assistant helps students improve reading fluency, comprehension and vocabulary acquisition. The unique approach is significantly more cost-effective than traditional guided oral reading with a teacher, which research has shown to be effective in fostering reading fluency and overall reading proficiency.
Officials at Lake Alfred Elementary have seen a marked improvement since the students began using the program last fall. Eileen Castle, Principal of Lake Alfred Elementary, said: "One of my ESE students who is using Soliloquy Reading Assistant has improved his reading by one entire grade level in only four months. This is a very significant improvement for an ESE student."
ESE learners are students with special education needs. At Lake Alfred, these ESE students are overcoming challenges including learning disabilities, emotional handicaps and autism.
"Reading is essential to any child´s learning, but our ESE students need the most help when it comes to improving their reading skills," said Castle. "The Soliloquy Reading Assistant has provided the extra help we need. The students just love it, because they think it makes reading fun, which allows their motivation to develop naturally. Plus, they love technology."
Overall 250 third, fourth, and fifth graders are using Soliloquy Reading Assistant at Lake Alfred Elementary. Along with the ESE students, average performing students, low performing students and English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) are using the program as a supplement to the school´s standard reading curriculum.
"We are proud to be part of a working solution for the student body of Lake Alfred Elementary," said Jon Bower, the CEO of Soliloquy Learning, the company that makes Soliloquy Reading Assistant. "The majority of students across the country struggle with reading fluency. Our goal is to provide teachers with a tool that offers each student one-on-one reading practice, while providing essential progress data to help teachers target their instruction."
Students use Soliloquy Reading Assistant by reading e-books into a computer using a standard headset and microphone. Students can have the program read the story to them, and record and compare their own readings. Through Soliloquy Reading Assistant´s proprietary speech-recognition technology, the program is able to "listen" and recognize 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 teacher review. Vocabulary assistance and comprehension questions are other features of the program. When students do not know a word´s meaning, they can click it to gain access to a context-sensitive definition, pronunciation and photographic memory aid. When students reach the end of a reading passage, comprehension questions are presented to ensure understanding and to focus students on acquiring meaning in addition to speed.
Soliloquy Reading Assistant is available for students in grades 1-12, plus adult remedial reading programs. For elementary students (grades 1-5), reading content is drawn from children´s stories, poems and expository passages to build literature appreciation. For secondary students (5-12), content is drawn from science and social studies subjects required by many state standards. Since its launch in 2002, 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 effective methods for improving reading and spoken language skills. The company´s flagship product, Soliloquy Reading Assistant, provides one-on-one reading support, using proprietary speech recognition technology to monitor and assist students through Guided Oral Reading, the research-proven best practice for fostering reading progress beyond the basics. Design has been led by literacy expert, Dr. Marilyn Jager Adams. Research on the efficacy of Soliloquy Reading Assistant has been sponsored through research grants from NICHD and IES . Soliloquy Learning is a privately held company based in Waltham, Mass. For more information visit: http://www.soliloquylearning.com.