The broader impact/commercial potential of this I-Corps project is the development of an Augmented Reality (AR) software solution that delivers dynamic, interactive, learner-specific vocabulary instruction using evidence-based best practices for learning. The proposed technology is an accessible, modular solution that is suitable for young children and adult learners, regardless of literacy. There are 5 million US children designated as English Language Learners, 1.5 billion English as a Second Language students worldwide, and over 300 million current users of digital language learning tools. The proposed technology specifically addresses the needs of these customer segments by increasing motivation and learning outcomes using AR and artificial intelligence (AI), providing availability in multiple language combinations, and providing access for children and adults from different economic backgrounds. The proposed system of language learning has the potential to narrow historically pervasive achievement inequities for children from linguistically diverse backgrounds in the US by delivering interactive, differentiated, academic vocabulary instruction with first language support to English Language Learners. The tool may provide a research-based, technology-enhanced solution for supporting language learning worldwide.

This I-Corps project is based on the development of a language learning software solution with Augmented Reality (AR) for immersive, interactive learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) for adaptive, deep learning. The proposed technology provides a novel language learning solution that does not require teacher supervision, can align with curricula, is suitable for users who cannot read, and offers content in many languages. The proposed technology is designed to incorporate cognitive AI with vision recognition for text as well as speech and speaker recognition. The AR platform also may provide new AI training models for language acquisition with a focus on primary school aged children learning English. In addition, speech and speaker recognition capacities may allow further refinement of models for language learner speech. The goal is a technology-enhanced language acquisition solution with learner-specific differentiated instruction, dynamic adaptive libraries, and first language specified materials. Based on findings from proof of principle, user acceptance, and alpha prototype research, the core technology is user friendly and effective for children as young as four years old. Further, this technology may increase scientific understanding of emerging bilingualism and language acquisition.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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University of South Florida
United States
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