Reading failure occurs in our schools at unacceptably high levels, causing serious and widespread social, political, and economic problems. This occurs despite the availability of effective instructional programs. Unfortunately, teachers often do not have the necessary training or time to implement these programs. In addition, it is sometimes not cost effective to use these programs when student groups are small or scattered. This project will incorporate advanced speech recognition technology with the computer delivery of effective research-proven instruction to effectively and economically teach basic reading skills to learning disabled readers. In Phase I, ten lessons will be produced and evaluated to demonstrate the feasibility of this approach. These lessons will encompass a wide range of decoding skill applications needed by learning disabled readers in grades one through five. The prototype feasibility will be evaluated with 80 at-risk readers in grade two. This prototype will be a stand-alone, turn-key instructional system, including speech recognition software, sound card, computer, monitor, and microphone. In Phase II, we will develop a 150-lesson remedial reading program and test its efficacy in a randomized control trial.
This project will lead to the production of a computer-based program that provides a comprehensive reading program for learning disabled and remedial readers. It will be attractive to schools, tutorial centers, and home markets.