Reading Companion: A Interactive Web-Based Tutor for Increasing Literacy Skills
This paper discusses learnings from the development of Reading Companion, a web-based system that uses speech recognition technology to help children and adults increase their literacy skills. An animated tutor character both ’speaks’ and ’listens’ to the reader, guiding them as they read e-books selected by their teacher from a virtual library. The system creates detailed performance reports for each student and because it is available on the internet, the learners can continue reading where they left off once they get home to share their progress with their family. We discuss implementation challenges that were overcome, as well as feedback from users and teachers. To our knowledge this is the first successful implementation of real-time interactive speech recognition using Flash on the internet. We believe this presents a valuable model of how speech can be used on the web as part of interactive applications.