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The Colorado Literacy Tutor

National Science Foundation Department of Education National Institutes of Health

CO-Lit Partners

University of Colorado ICS Pearson Knowledge Technologies

Under the Interagency Education Research Initiative (IERI), we are implementing a program of individualized computer-aided reading instruction with the potential to dramatically improve reading achievement and learning from text. The Colorado Literacy Tutor will integrate two sets of literacy tools, one based on speech and animation technology, and one based on language comprehension technology.

The first set of tools includes interactive books and reading tutors that are designed to work together within a comprehensive reading program. Interactive books will help children learn to recognize words, read fluently and understand what they read. They provide an environment for learning from pre-readers (who can have stories narrated to them by animated characters, and then engage in dialogues with the characters to assess and train comprehension) to advanced readers who can read stories and then receive comprehension training. Interactive books will help indicate what foundational reading skills are lacking or weak, and "point to" individual reading tutors that will assess and teach these skills. Over fifty reading tutors are being designed to teach foundational skills.

The second set of technology to be incorporated into the Colorado Literacy Tutor is Summary Street®. Comprehension training is achieved by letting children write summaries of texts in their own words. Summary Street® automatically compares their writing with the text they are summarizing and provides feedback about the content and adequacy of their summaries. Latent Semantic Analysis is also being used in a tutor specifically designed to help students learn and practice reading comprehension strategies that are assessed in standardized, competency-based tests such as the CSAP. Both these tools have been classroom tested, and relatively little further work is required to make them into stand-alone applications that could be used by teachers without direct supervision.

If you have any questions about the Colorado Literacy Tutor Research contact Donna.Caccamise@Colorado.edu.

The Center for Spoken Language Research Colorado Department of Education  
The Coleman Institute Boulder Valley School District Center for Teaching Learning and Technology