Sprite Kids introduces Speaktacular Sight Words

Friday, August 22, 2014

Award-winning children’s app developer, Sprite Kids, today announced the launch of Speaktacular Sight Words available exclusively for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Speaktacular Sight Words is a revolutionary app that allows kindergarten through third grade children to use their own voices to recognize and properly pronounce words from three unique word lists critical to reading development. The app is powered by the NDEV Mobile developer program from Nuance Communications, a leading provider of voice and language solutions for businesses and consumers around the world.

In Speaktacular Sight Words, voice input complements the widely-used touch interface on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, enabling the app to hear, correct, and track the word read by the child. This automates the learning process, while leveraging an underutilized sensory input available on smart devices. It encourages children to use and develop their speech skills, which otherwise they do not develop when interacting with these devices. Children not only familiarize themselves with new words, but learn to actually read them and articulate them.

Speaktacular Sight Words features three word lists critical to learning to read: the Dolch Sight Words, Academic Vocabulary Words, and Trouble Words. Compiled by leading educational experts, the Dolch Sight Words list includes 220 words + 95 nouns encountered in children’s books and are critical during the early stages of reading development. The Academic Vocabulary word list includes 287 academic vocabulary words that meet Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and are traditionally used in academic dialogue and text. These words are commonly used to help students understand oral directions and classroom instructional dialog, as well as comprehend text across different content areas – including math, science, and social studies/history. The Trouble Words list includes 125 words that special needs children often need extra help learning.

“For the first time in the children’s app market, we’ve been able to utilize the same world-recognized voice recognition software that powers some of the world’s most powerful brands, and applied it to one of the most critical skills in the learning process; teaching children to read and correctly annunciate their words in an interactive and exciting format where they’re rewarded for their efforts,” said Sprite Kids Founder Nikita Sawant.

Traditionally, parents and teachers have used flashcards or lists to teach children the most frequently used words. Instead of showing children flashcards over and over again, Speaktacular Sight Words features more than 700 commonly used words that are taught to children by Miko, an interactive monkey avatar who encourages them to advance by capturing their attention.

Miko guides children through the articulation adventure by instructing each child to read a word on the screen. First, he listens and understands the word read by the child using Nuance’s voice recognition technology. Then, he provides them with encouraging feedback in smiles or by shaking his head if the spoken word is pronounced incorrectly.

Parents and teachers can choose between two settings: a teaching mode where a child is read a word and asked to repeat it or practice mode where a child can read and learn independently. After reading five words, children are given a puzzle to solve which motivates them to learn five more words. As they progress, they are given new games and puzzles to complete.

Parents and teachers can individually see the progress of one child or an entire classroom with an innovative word-tracking option that automatically flags words a child is struggling with. Up to 30 user accounts can be established per app, allowing a parent with several kids of different ages or a teacher of an entire class to see the results and progress of each child independently. For words read incorrectly, the educator can hear what the child said when they read the word aloud. This allows parents and teachers to help the child review the troubled word and keep track of progress. Words to be read are displayed with the Dyslexia Font to make it easier for readers with dyslexia. A Custom Word List feature lets users create their own word list by choosing the words from all of the available word lists.

“Sprite Kids’ Speaktacular Sight Words App will forever change how teachers and students learn and practice the invaluable reading component of mastering sight words,” said Jayne Clare, special education professional and co-founder of Teachers with Apps. “Speaktacular Sight Words is engaging, informative, and, most importantly, advantageous for students and teachers.”

The Speaktacular Sight Words App is available for $1.99 from the App Store on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch or at http://www.AppStore.com.

About Sprite Kids

Located in Fremont, California, Sprite Kids was founded in 2013 by Nikita Kapoor with a focus on creating learning environments for children which spark creativity, instill a love for reading and which guide them to think logically. The company’s innovative apps for children have won praise by the tech industry, parents, and educators. For more information, please visit http://www.spritekids.com.

About Nuance Communications, Inc.

Nuance Communications, Inc. is a leading provider of voice and language solutions for businesses and consumers around the world. Its technologies, applications and services make the user experience more compelling by transforming the way people interact with devices and systems. Every day, millions of users and thousands of businesses experience Nuance’s proven applications. For more information, please visit http://www.nuance.com.