Speech Recognition Software Contributes to Reading Development for Young Learners of English
At a glance
  • Program: Amira Learning
  • Subjects: Assessment, Early Learning
  • Report Type: Efficacy Study, Study Conducted by Third Party
  • Grade Level: Elementary
  • Population: English Learners
  • District Urbanicity: Urban
  • Study Conducted by: Reeder, K., Shapiro, J., Wakefield, J., & D’Silva, R.
  • Publication Date: 2015

Thirty-six English language learners aged 6.8 to 12.6 years received practice with The Reading Tutor, which uses speech recognition to listen to oral reading and provides context-sensitive feedback. A crossover research design controlled effects of classroom instruction. The first subgroup worked with the software for 3.5 months, and following a week’s crossover period, the second subgroup worked for a subsequent 3.5 months. Both groups were assessed to obtain comparable gains both in regular classroom with English as an Additional Language (EAL) support and in the classroom condition with EAL support plus the Reading Tutor. Oral reading fluency was assessed by the DIBELS measure. Fluency was also calculated by the program, and grade level of materials mastered was assessed by the software’s logs. Both groups made significant gains in oral reading fluency and grade level of materials mastered, according to measures internal to the software. For one period, gains in fluency following experience with the program appeared to have been slightly larger than gains with regular classroom instruction and EAL support only.


Reeder, K., Shapiro, J., Wakefield, J., & D’Silva, R. (2015). Speech recognition software contributes to reading development for young learners of English. International Journal of Computer-Assisted Language Learning and Teaching, 5(3), 60-74. https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~listen/pdfs/Speech-Recognition-Software-Contributes-to-Reading-Development-for-Young-Learners-of-English.pdf