Project name: Reading Acceleration Program (RAP): Personalized Web/Mobile Platform enabling language learners improve reading fluency and comprehension
Principal researchers name: Prof. Zvia Breznitz & Dr. Benny Bloch
Invention area: Brain Training, Reading Fluency and Comprehension Enhancment, English as Second/Foreigh Language (ESL/EFL), E-Learning, E-Training
Illiteracy is a huge problem in both emerging and established markets. In the USA alone 1 out of 10 people can't read. This results in estimated $25B (direct) to $225B (indirect) costs to economy. There are various causes to this: Poverty, Technology (people use computers and other technology, but do not read) and uni-ligualism. An additional major cause is Learning Disabilities: 30-50% of population is diagnosed as LD, 80% of which suffer from Reading Difficulties.
An additional huge challenge is the WW "mania" for learning English. 2B people WW are trying to learn English. For example, in 2010, China became the world's largest English-speaking nation of more than 300m and Chinese children stars learning English by the 3rd grade by law. The Chinese National Higher Education Entrance Examination - or commonly known as Gao Kao - literally determines the future of Chinese youngsters and 25% of the grade is based on English. This massive interest in Language learning cannot be addressed by the traditional methods of teaching and learning that are by far conducted mostly in the physical environment of classrooms or 1-on-1. These methods are expensive and scale very poorly. Emerging markets governments requires huge investments to enable large scale teaching that will help nations advance, but money is not place. On the flip side, in very rich countries often resources are available but people do not have time to commit to traditional ways of learning, e.g. new language (in classes, schools, etc.). In additional, traditional learning and teaching is very limited in term of customization and personalization. There's virtually no way to address student individual abilities in terms of knowledge baseline and optimal rate of progress. There's no way to account for special difficulties and disabilities and tailor teaching methodology accordingly. Finally, there are no options to adjust to personal preferences such as areas of interests, time to learn and extension of learning.
We developed an innovative training program based on Reading Acceleration Phenomena, i.e. Reading Acceleration Program (RAP). The program is based on vast research of large population of various ages of both normal and learning disabled trainees. It shows positive and significant effects of training intervention protocol on reading improvement. The training program is a personalized web/mobile platform and enables language learners to improve their reading fluency and comprehension.
It has five main advantages:
It is a Web/Mobile-based program, individually tailored for each trainee.
It is based on silent (i.e. natural) reading.
The program adapts itself to the strengths and weakness of each trainee.
The program adapts itself to the needs and abilities of each trainee at any point of time.
The target of the program is self-improvement, i.e. improvement of trainee's performance relative to itself, without reference to any external norm.
The invention is protected by a national patent.
The Language Learning Market is huge. The Nielsen Company estimates that language learning is an $83 billion industry. The number of WW English learners alone (as second or foreign language) is estimated in 2B. UK total revenues for the English language teaching were estimated in $5b in 2003. Similarly, Japan revenues were estimated in $9.5b, China $3.1b, Canada $1b and Australia $600m.
The public sector:
2006, President Bush, The National Security Language Initiative, $114 million USD for expanding foreign language education (such as Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Germany has decided to inject $243 million USD of its 2009 budget for publically funded language courses geared towards both immigrant parents and children.
Systems and Solutions for learning languages online through the Web are well established, e.g. RosettaStone , fluenz, lingq, Livemocha. Brands such as Disney English. In parallel, there are a growing number of Language-related assistive technologies such as WhiteSmoke (automated mail templates), Ginger, Babylon and Google Translate. Also learning related applications are starting to emerge in the app stores, e.g. Babbel mobile app, Upside Mobile Learning Solutions. In October 2010, Apple introduced a new Special Education section in their app store: Communication, Hearing, language development, literacy and learning, organization (The US Market for Mobile Learning Products and Services: 2010-2015 Forecast and Analysis).This market is now transforming as traditional language teachings schools are transcending their services from classrooms, to web based applications and most recently to mobile based tools and services. In the US the Mobile Learning market products and services is valued at $1B (2010) while the highest growth markets are China, In