Early Language Intervention via the Internet

Period of Performance: 08/15/2004 - 08/14/2006

$607K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Laureate Learning Systems, Inc.
Winooski, VT 05404
Principal Investigator

Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This proposal requests SBIR Phase II support to complete and field test an Internet-based language intervention system designed to promote language development in preschool children with language disorders. Language delays are pervasive among school-age children. Early intervention is crucial since the consequences of language delay can be serious and cumulative. Yet research shows that most children with language delays never receive language intervention services during their preschool years. We propose to complete an Internet-based early language intervention system designed specifically for the remediation of language disorders in 3-5 year old children with language function in the range of 24-42 months. The curricular design will be guided by contemporary linguistic research. Online delivery of the intervention curriculum will be individualized and controlled by an artificial intelligence system that tracks performance and adjusts instructional support. By combining easy access via the Internet with centralized data collection and curricular control, it will become possible to implement and easily manage coordinated school and home language intervention strategies, and to provide services to more children without further taxing limited professional resources. In Phase I we tested the feasibility and technical merit of this objective. A prototype program module was developed and tested with 23 students who were enrolled in an Early Essential Education program, including 19 preschoolers with language delays. Data were collected over the Internet while testing six of these children. In Phase II we plan to fully develop and field-test this Internet-based language intervention system.