Project LISTEN
A Reading Tutor that Listens
Last updated:  2/4/2014

In the News 
Research Basis



The Reading Tutor is not (yet) a commercial product, but a research prototype we are testing and refining.
See Research Basis for a summary of our published studies and other research underlying the Reading Tutor.

For our latest published work, please see Publications, which is updated more often than this page.

  • Since 2009, we have used a low-cost EEG sensor to collect data about students’ brain states while learning.
  • As of 2009, we were extending the Reading Tutor to accelerate children’s development of oral reading fluency and vocabulary, and to teach explicit reading comprehension strategies.
  • Since 2005, various researchers have conducted and published controlled studies of the Reading Tutor with English language learners in Chicago, Toronto, Vancouver, and Accra, Ghana.  See Publications for details.
  • In 2005, the Reading Tutor was pilot-tested in Ghana, launching Project Kané (a TechBridgeWorld project).
  • In 2004-2005, we partnered with various organizations to field-test the Reading Tutor in several new sites.
  • In 2003-2004, hundreds of students used the Reading Tutor daily.  In the first independent controlled evaluation of the Reading Tutor, at a bilingual school in Illinois, 34 ESL students in grades 2-4 gained three times as much in fluency in the month they used the Reading Tutor than in the month they spent the same time doing Sustained Silent Reading.
  • In 2002-2003, students used the Reading Tutor at 9 schools.
  • In 2001-2002, over 400 students used the Reading Tutor at 8 schools in 5 districts in 2 states in multiple studies of its effectiveness.  Usage varied; classrooms with higher usage averaged higher gains.
  • In 2000-2001, an equal-time controlled study of 178 students in grades 1-4 at two Blue Ribbon of Excellence schools compared using the Reading Tutor 20 minutes daily in a lab setting to spending the same time on Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) in the classroom.  The Reading Tutor group outgained the SSR group in reading, fluency, and spelling.
  • In 1999-2000, an 8-month controlled study of 144 second and third graders compared the Reading Tutor, one-on-one human tutoring by certified teachers, and current practice as a control condition.  Human tutors did best for word attack, but third grade vocabulary gains for the Reading Tutor surpassed the control group and rivalled human tutors.
  • In 1997-98, over 100 children in grades 1-5 used the Reading Tutor daily in 10 classroooms under regular classroom conditions.  In a four-month controlled study in spring 1998, children who used the Reading Tutor gained significantly more in reading comprehension than classmates who spent the same time in regular activities.
  • In a 1996-1997 pilot test at an inner-city elementary school, six third graders who started almost three years below grade level and used the Reading Tutor under individual supervision averaged two years' progress in under eight months.

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