Alta Vista Improves Fluency with Speech Recognition


3/22/2007—Alta Vista Elementary School in Haines City, FL has implemented Soliloquy Learning's Soliloquy Reading Assistant (SRA) to help with literacy among its large population of ELL students.

SRA provides a one to one, guided oral reading program that uses speech recognition technology to improve fluency and vocabulary. With SRA, students read e-books into a computer using a headset and microphone. The software, which incorporates speech recognition, listens to the students and corrects mistakes on the part of the readers and speaks the word. It also makes records of sessions for review by teachers later, and it provides definitions for individual words when requested by the student.

According to the company, students at Alta Vista Elementary are improving their fluency by nearly double the national norm. Third-graders have built up their reading fluency at an average of six words correct per minute (WCPM) per month, compared with the norm of 3.4 WCPM, as defined by the assessment system AIMSWeb. Remedial fourth-graders at the school have improved at a rate of 5.6 WCPM per month, compared with the fourth-grade norm of 3.5 WCPM per month.

"The results are remarkable, and the best part is that the students are overall very enthusiastic about Soliloquy Reading Assistant," said Rosa Bradley, a third-grade teacher at Alta Vista, in a prepared statement. "One of my students is particularly motivated by the program. It doesn't matter how low she scores on the initial reading, she always tries harder the next time and succeeds. Before the program, she was not motivated to read with fluency, now it is a challenge for her and she loves it."

At Alta Vista, 70 percent of the students are ELL and predominantly speak Spanish at home.

"Non-English readers are able to feel a comfort zone with the program," said Luis Alvarez, principal at Alta Vista. "The student doesn't have any peer pressure of getting something wrong. He is competing with himself only, and hearing his own pronunciation is helpful because he can self correct without embarrassment. Soliloquy Reading Assistant is an awesome program for ELL students."

Soliloquy Reading Assistant for grades 1-12, as well as adult remedial reading programs. More than 5,000 schools have adopted the system since its launch in 2002.

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About the author: Dave Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's educational technology online publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 29-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEDavidNagel (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).