Program

May 23, 2011

 

OVERVIEW

 Fast ForWord Language (FFW) is a computer-based intervention program designed to accelerate English language learning for non-native speakers. The FFW program consists of seven interactive exercises that work on auditory-perceptual and spoken language comprehension skills. Overall, significant English language improvements were not found for students who participated in the program compared with those who did not, except on a single basic reading outcome. However, significant improvements were found for those in the bottom quartile of English proficiency before the intervention.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

 Target population: English language learner students in grades 1 through 6.

The FFW treatment consists of five 20-minute oral language exercises per day for five days per week, with the total intervention lasting 4 to 8 weeks. FFW uses seven interactive computer-based exercises that target English language skills and use acoustic waveform lengthening and amplification to accelerate English language proficiency for non-native English speakers. This technique is specifically designed to expose English language learners to phonemes that may not be included in the students’ native language and to English vocabulary and grammar.

 

EVALUATION OF PROGRAM

 Troia, G.A. (2004). Migrant students with limited English proficiency: Can Fast ForWord Language™ make a difference in their language skills and academic achievement? Remedial and Special Education, 25, 353-366.

 

Evaluated population: FFW was implemented and experimentally evaluated with migrant English language learner (ELL) students in grades 1 to 6 from seven public elementary schools in rural Central Washington. Of the 191 participants, 18 percent spoke little or no English, 39 percent spoke limited English, and 43 percent showed basic spoken English fluency. The average age was 9.5 years, and 53 percent of the participants were boys. The students had been in the United States for an average of 6 years, and all were native Spanish speakers.

Approach: In four of the schools, students were randomly assigned to the program or control group. In the other three schools, students were assigned through matching based on grade, IQ, and English language proficiency. The control group received no contact during the intervention. The FFW program was offered either during the school day or before or after school, daily for four to eight weeks. For the first week of the program, students increase participation from 60 to 80 minutes per day, continuing with 100 minutes per day for the duration of the study. Post-tests measured English proficiency, oral language, phonological awareness, basic reading, and classroom behavior, and were administered eight weeks after the beginning of the intervention.

Results: Analyses based on the random assignment sample were similar to those for the total sample. Overall, the FFW group showed significantly greater improvement than the control group only on the basic reading outcome of word recognition. There was no program impact on English proficiency, oral language expression and comprehension, phonological awareness, or classroom behavior. However, students in the lowest quartile based on pretest English proficiency scores showed greater improvement in basic reading and oral language expression than students in the lowest quartile in the control group.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

 Website: http://www.scilearn.com/products/fast-forword-language-series/

 References:

Troia, G.A. (2004). Migrant students with limited English proficiency: Can Fast ForWord Language™ make a difference in their language skills and academic achievement? Remedial and Special Education, 25, 353-366.

 KEYWORDS: Children (3-11), Elementary, Hispanic/Latino, School-based, Computer-based, After School Program, Rural, Males and Females (Co-ed), Reading/Literacy, Academic Achievement/Grades, Social Skills/Life Skills, Aggression, Anxiety Disorders/Symptoms, Conduct/Disruptive Disorders

Program information last updated on 5/23/11.