PATENTS GRANTED FOR COMPUTERIZED INSTRUCTION OF SPEECH SYSTEM

A McKee, Voorhees and Sease client recently received two patents related to computerized instruction of speech, reading and other language skills (6,186,794 and 6,206,700; apparatus for interactive adaptive learning by an individual through at least one of a stimuli presentation device and a user perceivable display). First, the computer presents tasks to the student. Then the software processes the student's responses (via keyboard, touch screen or microphone) and not only keeps track of how well the student is doing, but automatically adjusts the nature and difficulty of the next tasks. The patented system and software is designed to more efficiently and effectively improve literacy; especially for younger children. It's essentially a \'virtual teacher,\' giving individualized instruction to each child; allowing them to learn at their own rate and according to strategies which best fit their learning style. The system not only generates text and pictorial tasks on the computer screen, but at times requires the child to speak words. It has built-in intelligence and evaluation technology to analyze the spoken words and instruct the child accordingly. For example, the screen might tell the child to speak the word \'cat.\' The software evaluates the speech pattern in comparison to the correct pronunciation stored in its database. The child will be coached to repeat the word, and be given instructions such as how to sound out the word, including pictorial information about how the student should shape his/her mouth to form the different sounds. The system can also be of great assistance to those teaching developmentally challenged children, or persons learning anew language.


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