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IES Contract

Title: Interactive Audio Technology to Build Phonological Awareness and Early Childhood Literacy
Center: NCER Year: 2020
Principal Investigator: Ramanathan, Aparna Awardee: Hoogalit
Program: Small Business Innovation Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 8 months (06/15/2020 – 02/15/2021) Award Amount: $199,724
Type: Phase I Development Award Number: 91990020C0076

Phonological awareness, the ability to identify and manipulate sounds in words, is the strongest determinant of future reading ability. The developers have created an interactive phonological audio tool for preschool-aged children to listen to passages and learn and practice the basic sounds that make up words. In this project, they will improve this tool by developing a new prototype software application with interactive audio lessons to individualize children's learning experience. The prototype will include a natural language processing engine to adjust lessons to personalize practicing basic sounds that make up words (phonemes), auditory discrimination activities, blending, segmenting, rhyming, and syllables. At the end of Phase I, the researchers will conduct a pilot study with 30 preschool children, a teacher, and parents to determine if the prototype functions as planned, if the content is engaging for learners, and if participating in audio activities is linked to improved phonological awareness skills.