Sounds and Sippy Cups: New Approaches to Pre-Literacy in Adaptive Game-Based Learning for Young Children


Decades of research from interdisciplinary fields (e.g. developmental psychology/linguistics, cognitive psychology/neuroscience, educational research) have yielded tremendous insights into the process of learning to read (i.e., Gough & Tunmer, 1986; Scarborough, 2001; Ehri, 1996; Kilpatrick, 2015). Yet, only about one-third of four graders in the United States are reading with accuracy, understanding, and fluency (NCES, 2019). In international comparisons, 15-year-olds in the US rank 24th out of 72 participating countries in overall literacy (OECD, 2015). Seidenberg (2018) attributed this to the disconnection between the science of reading and educational practice. This paper discusses the design of a mastery-based adaptive learning system to develop mastery of early reading. Grounded in the science of reading and cognitive development research, My Reading Academy delivers explicit and systematic phonemic awareness and phonics instruction, paired with rich reading and language experiences. Driven by new understandings of receptive phonemic awareness capabilities in children as young as two (Kenner et al., 20176; Kuhl et al., 2005), meaningful phonemic awareness experiences were crafted specifically for young learners as a foundation for future reading success. Across decades of literature, phonemic awareness has emerged as the strongest predictor of later reading success in children both with (Bradley & Bryant, 1981, 1983; Metsala, 1999; Scarborough, 1989) and without (e.g. Anthony & Lonigan, 2004; Fox & Routh, 1975; Muter, Hulme, Snowling, & Taylor, 1997; Stanovich, Cunningham, & Cramer, 1984;Stanovich, 1986) learning disabilities. Translational research-to-practice applications like My Reading Academy has the potential to deliver impactful personalized reading instruction at scale.

Author Information
Nika Fabienke, Age of Learning, Inc., United States
Brandi Biscoe Kenner, Choice-filled Lives Network, United States
Anastasia Betts, Age of Learning, Inc., United States
Khanh-Phuong Thai, Age of Learning, Inc., United States

Paper Information
Conference: IICEHawaii2021
Stream: Language Development & Literacy

This paper is part of the IICEHawaii2021 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Fabienke N., Kenner B., Betts A., & Thai K. (2021) Sounds and Sippy Cups: New Approaches to Pre-Literacy in Adaptive Game-Based Learning for Young Children ISSN: 2189-1036 – The IAFOR International Conference on Education – Hawaii 2021 Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon