An app that improves children’s reading and learning ability within a week

An app in Queensland is improving children’s reading and learning ability within a week, says researchers.



The Emergent Literacy Assessment app (ELAa) in Queensland is improving children's reading and learning ability within a week's time.

The app was created by Dr Michelle Neumann, an early learning expert from Griffith University's School of Education. The idea of the application was encouraged by 5 of her children who were frustrated by the game-based digital education and alphabet tools.

"A lot of them have been developed by just the app developer without consultation with educators and researchers," she said. "We put a lot of thought and research-based evidence into the app."

The Emergent Literacy Assessment app (ELAa) is aimed at children aged four to five. It tests students by getting them to recognise and say numbers, letters, sounds and words.


Dr Neumann observed in a week-long trial among 20 students at Coomera's Bonny Babes Childcare Centre  that most of the class averaged 80 per cent on tests after using the app for a week. She said another class of 30 students in Tasmania showed similar results.

(Dr Michelle Neumann shows children how to use the app.)

"I developed it as a digital assessment tool for children I am working with in research. It is a really interactive, stimulating, multi-sensory way and a fun way for children to engage. It is the first kind of letter-assessment app that can provide instant feedback on children's results."

Mum of two Karen Fraser is pleased the app focuses on learning, not games. Her children Joshua and Tilly have improved in reading and Maths since they started using the app.

"A lot of them [apps] are games and the kids will always go to the game side of an app and try and get away from the numeracy," she said.


"So this app is focused on literacy and I love that."

Dr Neumann said the app was aimed at children but parents were encouraged to help them use it. The app mails the results to teachers and parents can also mail home results to the teacher to help them identify the areas where the child needs help

The app has also helped children with learning difficulties.

Dr Neumann's next project is working on an assessment app in the Chinese language Mandarin.

"Especially in Australia as the curriculum has now introduced Chinese as a mandatory language to be learnt from prep all the way up to Year 12," Dr Neumann said.


The app is available free to download.

Image Courtesy: ABC News: Lexy Hamilton-Smith


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