Reading Assistant FAQ

Does Reading Assistant work on an iPad?

Yes. Reading Assistant launched an iPad version of their program in early 2016. There is an app that has to be downloaded and then authorized by Gemm Learning.

Who should use Reading Assistant?

Reading Assistant can help any student who has attained basic word recognition skills build vocabulary, fluency and comprehension. Texts go from 1st grade through adult.

When does Gemm use Reading Assistant?

We offer this program only to students have completed the cognitive skills training in Fast ForWord. It is offered in concert with the Fast ForWord Reading series.

How often should students use Reading Assistant?

Our recommended schedule is for grades K-3 – a minimum of 20 minutes 4-5 days per week, for grades 4-12 — a minimum of 30 minutes 4-5 days a week.

How much does Reading Assistant cost?

While Reading Assistant can be added to an Intensive or Summer Friends program for returning clients for no extra charge, in most cases it will be done in a sequence that includes Fast ForWord and is priced identically to Fast ForWord services.
Gemm Learning fee schedules

Are there levels of progress like Fast ForWord?

Each passage is rated for reading skill level. And, Gemm Learning sees fluency, comprehension and other scores, including listening to recorded reading, after every session. Using this information, Gemm Learning can adjust this library based on your child’s progress, hopefully, in most cases, providing more complex material as reading skills improve.

Is Reading Assistant research-based?

Yes. According to the report of the National Reading Panel, “classroom practices that encourage repeated oral reading with feedback and guidance lead to meaningful improvements in reading expertise for students—for good readers as well as for those who are experiencing difficulty.” With Reading Assistant, the computer becomes the supportive listener that ensures all students can regularly practice oral reading while receiving immediate, individual feedback from the advanced speech-recognition software.

Is Reading Assistant research-validated?

Yes. The impact of Reading Assistant on fluency growth was evaluated with mainstream students in Grades 2-5. Half of the classrooms in two schools used the software in thirty-minute sessions, once or twice a week over 17 weeks. Across all four grades, fluency gains were significantly greater for students who used the software than those who did not, averaging 43% (E.S.=0.91) greater than normative expectations over grades. Project sponsored by the Carlisle Foundation and NICHD.
Reading Assistant results

250-150-girl-with-parents-at-laptopWhat genres are covered in Reading Assistant?

Realistic fiction
Historical fiction
Science fiction
Poetry
Folktale, myth, legend
Expository nonfiction
Biography
Play
Speech
Jokes
Short Story
Point-counterpoint
Personal Narrative
Journal; eye-witness account

How long has Reading Assistant been in existence?

Soliloquy Learning, the original developers of Reading Assistant, was formed in 2000 to pioneer the use of proprietary speech recognition technology to monitor and assist students through Guided Oral Reading. Design was led by literacy expert, Dr. Marilyn Jager Adams, with research on the efficacy sponsored through research grants from NICHD and IES. Soliloquy was purchased by Scientific Learning, developers of Fast ForWord, in 2007, after which time large sums were invested to dramatically expand the leveled Reading Assistant library, and it was integrated into the Fast ForWord online reporting platform, Progress Tracker, and the online student access platform, MySciLearn.

What do the quiz questions assess?

The comprehension questions are designed to review main ideas, key concepts, core arguments, and vocabulary from the passage. The question types include inferential and literal comprehension, analysis, prediction, and summary.

How does Reading Assistant build fluency?

Reading fluency is the ability to read automatically, so that the reader can concentrate on comprehension. The software builds fluency by providing oral reading practice and a review of unfamiliar words.

How does Reading Assistant help reading comprehension?

Reading Assistant helps reading comprehension by improving fluency that frees up concentration for comprehension.  In addition it provides practice in answering questions (presented at the end of each passage) and embedded questions in the text that check comprehension while reading.  These embedded questions help develop the habit of thinking while reading.