Fast ForWord Language Series
Study: Scientific Learning Corporation (2004)

Summary

Scientific Learning’s Fast ForWord LANGUAGE Series products build foundational elementary school reading and language skills to help students learn successfully in the general classroom. The Fast ForWord LANGUAGE Series supports all children in meeting challenging state academic standards and helps improve school test scores. The Fast ForWord LANGUAGE Series provides extra academic support and learning opportunities in reading and language for struggling students, including at-risk students, ELL students, and special education students. Fast ForWord Language Basics Prepares younger students for the listening and attentional demands of classroom instruction, with a focus on sound sequencing, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, pattern recognition, and color-shape identification. Fast ForWord Language v2 Develops listening accuracy, phonological awareness, and language structures and moves elementary students who are reading below grade level toward grade level reading skills. Fast ForWord Language to Reading v2 Emphasizes the link between spoken and written language to guide young students to become proficient grade level readers.

Target Grades:
K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Target Populations:
  • Students with disabilities only
  • Students with learning disabilities
  • English language learners
  • Any student at risk for academic failure
Area(s) of Focus:
  • Phonological awareness
  • Comprehension
  • Fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Other: Cognitive skills
Where to Obtain:
Scientific Learning Corporation
300 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Suite 600 Oakland, CA 94612-2040
888-358-0212
www.scientificlearning.com
Initial Cost:
$24,950.00 per site
Replacement Cost:
$22,800.00 per site per year

Fast ForWord Language Product Series (Language v2, Language To Reading v2, Language Basics, 1 year Support, Progress Tracker w/Reading Progress Indicator, 2 days onsite training, 3 web-based consulting sessions) $60,300 for perpetual site license - ownership of software $22,800 for 12 month subscription site license Headsets Headsets are required and can be purchased through Scientific Learning or other sources. Specifications will be provided at time of purchase. Fast ForWord only headsets - $12 each if purchased through Scientific Learning. Can be purchased elsewhere. Reading Assistant / Fast ForWord Combo Headset with USB Adapter - $60 each if purchased through Scientific Learning. Can be purchased elsewhere. Additional Service Costs Onsite days for installation of software, technical services, additional training - $2150 per day Volume Pricing Volume Pricing is applied when a district purchases multiple site licenses.

Staff Qualified to Administer Include:
  • Special Education Teacher
  • General Education Teacher
  • Reading Specialist
  • Math Specialist
  • EL Specialist
  • Interventionist
  • Student Support Services Personnel (e.g., counselor, social worker, school psychologist, etc.)
  • Paraprofessional
  • Other:
Training Requirements:
4-8 hours of training

Training delivers research-based strategies and educates staff about: brain plasticity and the science behind Fast ForWord products, effective coaching methods, motivational strategies, intervention techniques, administrative procedures and daily steps, monitoring and reporting student performance with Progress Tracker


Scientific Learning training manuals were not formally field-tested, but they are updated annually in response to needs identified through company training sessions.

Access to Technical Support:
A la carte onsite and web trainings.
Recommended Administration Formats Include:
  • Individual students
  • Small group of students
Minimum Number of Minutes Per Session:
30
Minimum Number of Sessions Per Week:
5
Minimum Number of Weeks:
4
Detailed Implementation Manual or Instructions Available:
Yes
Is Technology Required?
  • Computer or tablet
  • Internet connection
  • Other technology: For full Scientific Learning Technical Specifications, please go to: http://www.scilearn.com/alldocs/tech/20078TechSpecs.pdf.

Program Information

Descriptive Information

Please provide a description of program, including intended use:

Scientific Learning’s Fast ForWord LANGUAGE Series products build foundational elementary school reading and language skills to help students learn successfully in the general classroom. The Fast ForWord LANGUAGE Series supports all children in meeting challenging state academic standards and helps improve school test scores. The Fast ForWord LANGUAGE Series provides extra academic support and learning opportunities in reading and language for struggling students, including at-risk students, ELL students, and special education students. Fast ForWord Language Basics Prepares younger students for the listening and attentional demands of classroom instruction, with a focus on sound sequencing, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, pattern recognition, and color-shape identification. Fast ForWord Language v2 Develops listening accuracy, phonological awareness, and language structures and moves elementary students who are reading below grade level toward grade level reading skills. Fast ForWord Language to Reading v2 Emphasizes the link between spoken and written language to guide young students to become proficient grade level readers.

The program is intended for use in the following age(s) and/or grade(s).

not selected Age 0-3
not selected Age 3-5
selected Kindergarten
selected First grade
selected Second grade
selected Third grade
selected Fourth grade
selected Fifth grade
not selected Sixth grade
not selected Seventh grade
not selected Eighth grade
not selected Ninth grade
not selected Tenth grade
not selected Eleventh grade
not selected Twelth grade


The program is intended for use with the following groups.

selected Students with disabilities only
selected Students with learning disabilities
not selected Students with intellectual disabilities
not selected Students with emotional or behavioral disabilities
selected English language learners
selected Any student at risk for academic failure
not selected Any student at risk for emotional and/or behavioral difficulties
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

ACADEMIC INTERVENTION: Please indicate the academic area of focus.

Early Literacy

not selected Print knowledge/awareness
not selected Alphabet knowledge
not selected Phonological awareness
not selected Phonological awarenessEarly writing
not selected Early decoding abilities
not selected Other

If other, please describe:

Language

not selected Expressive and receptive vocabulary
not selected Grammar
not selected Syntax
not selected Listening comprehension
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

Reading

selected Phonological awareness
not selected Phonics/word study
selected Comprehension
selected Fluency
selected Vocabulary
not selected Spelling
selected Other
If other, please describe:
Cognitive skills

Mathematics

not selected Computation
not selected Concepts and/or word problems
not selected Whole number arithmetic
not selected Comprehensive: Includes computation/procedures, problem solving, and mathematical concepts
not selected Algebra
not selected Fractions, decimals (rational number)
not selected Geometry and measurement
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

Writing

not selected Handwriting
not selected Spelling
not selected Sentence construction
not selected Planning and revising
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTION: Please indicate the behavior area of focus.

Externalizing Behavior

not selected Physical Aggression
not selected Verbal Threats
not selected Property Destruction
not selected Noncompliance
not selected High Levels of Disengagement
not selected Disruptive Behavior
not selected Social Behavior (e.g., Peer interactions, Adult interactions)
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

Internalizing Behavior

not selected Depression
not selected Anxiety
not selected Social Difficulties (e.g., withdrawal)
not selected School Phobia
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

Acquisition and cost information

Where to obtain:

Address
300 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Suite 600 Oakland, CA 94612-2040
Phone Number
888-358-0212
Website
www.scientificlearning.com

Initial cost for implementing program:

Cost
$24950.00
Unit of cost
site

Replacement cost per unit for subsequent use:

Cost
$22800.00
Unit of cost
site
Duration of license
year

Additional cost information:

Describe basic pricing plan and structure of the program. Also, provide information on what is included in the published program, as well as what is not included but required for implementation (e.g., computer and/or internet access)

Fast ForWord Language Product Series (Language v2, Language To Reading v2, Language Basics, 1 year Support, Progress Tracker w/Reading Progress Indicator, 2 days onsite training, 3 web-based consulting sessions) $60,300 for perpetual site license - ownership of software $22,800 for 12 month subscription site license Headsets Headsets are required and can be purchased through Scientific Learning or other sources. Specifications will be provided at time of purchase. Fast ForWord only headsets - $12 each if purchased through Scientific Learning. Can be purchased elsewhere. Reading Assistant / Fast ForWord Combo Headset with USB Adapter - $60 each if purchased through Scientific Learning. Can be purchased elsewhere. Additional Service Costs Onsite days for installation of software, technical services, additional training - $2150 per day Volume Pricing Volume Pricing is applied when a district purchases multiple site licenses.

Program Specifications

Setting for which the program is designed.

selected Individual students
selected Small group of students
not selected BI ONLY: A classroom of students

If group-delivered, how many students compose a small group?

  

Program administration time

Minimum number of minutes per session
30
Minimum number of sessions per week
5
Minimum number of weeks
4
not selected N/A (implemented until effective)

If intervention program is intended to occur over less frequently than 60 minutes a week for approximately 8 weeks, justify the level of intensity:

Does the program include highly specified teacher manuals or step by step instructions for implementation?
Yes

BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTION: Is the program affiliated with a broad school- or class-wide management program?

If yes, please identify and describe the broader school- or class-wide management program:

Does the program require technology?
Yes

If yes, what technology is required to implement your program?
selected Computer or tablet
selected Internet connection
selected Other technology (please specify)

If your program requires additional technology not listed above, please describe the required technology and the extent to which it is combined with teacher small-group instruction/intervention:
For full Scientific Learning Technical Specifications, please go to: http://www.scilearn.com/alldocs/tech/20078TechSpecs.pdf.

Training

How many people are needed to implement the program ?

Is training for the instructor or interventionist required?
Yes
If yes, is the necessary training free or at-cost?
At-cost

Describe the time required for instructor or interventionist training:
4-8 hours of training

Describe the format and content of the instructor or interventionist training:
Training delivers research-based strategies and educates staff about: brain plasticity and the science behind Fast ForWord products, effective coaching methods, motivational strategies, intervention techniques, administrative procedures and daily steps, monitoring and reporting student performance with Progress Tracker

What types or professionals are qualified to administer your program?

selected Special Education Teacher
selected General Education Teacher
selected Reading Specialist
selected Math Specialist
selected EL Specialist
selected Interventionist
selected Student Support Services Personnel (e.g., counselor, social worker, school psychologist, etc.)
not selected Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapist or Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)
selected Paraprofessional
not selected Other

If other, please describe:

Does the program assume that the instructor or interventionist has expertise in a given area?
No   

If yes, please describe: 


Are training manuals and materials available?
Yes

Describe how the training manuals or materials were field-tested with the target population of instructors or interventionist and students:
Scientific Learning training manuals were not formally field-tested, but they are updated annually in response to needs identified through company training sessions.

Do you provide fidelity of implementation guidance such as a checklist for implementation in your manual?

Can practitioners obtain ongoing professional and technical support?
Yes

If yes, please specify where/how practitioners can obtain support:

A la carte onsite and web trainings.

Summary of Evidence Base

Please identify, to the best of your knowledge, all the research studies that have been conducted to date supporting the efficacy of your program, including studies currently or previously submitted to NCII for review. Please provide citations only (in APA format); do not include any descriptive information on these studies. NCII staff will also conduct a search to confirm that the list you provide is accurate.

Study Information

Study Citations

(2004). Improved Language and Early Reading Skills by Students Who Used Fast ForWord Language to Reading. Retrieved from: http://www.scilearn.com/alldocs/rsrch/sbr/30053ffwltorprodrpt.pdf

Participants Full Bobble

Describe how students were selected to participate in the study:
The children in the experimental group were identified by licensed speech language pathologists as having a significant learning problem – many had multiple learning problems. The children in the comparison group were matched by gender, age, and performance on the Letter-Word Identification subtest of the Woodcock Johnson-Revised.

Describe how students were identified as being at risk for academic failure (AI) or as having emotional or behavioral difficulties (BI):
The students were at risk because licensed speech language pathologists had identified them as having significant learning problems.

ACADEMIC INTERVENTION: What percentage of participants were at risk, as measured by one or more of the following criteria:
  • below the 30th percentile on local or national norm, or
  • identified disability related to the focus of the intervention?
%

BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTION: What percentage of participants were at risk, as measured by one or more of the following criteria:
  • emotional disability label,
  • placed in an alternative school/classroom,
  • non-responsive to Tiers 1 and 2, or
  • designation of severe problem behaviors on a validated scale or through observation?
%

Specify which condition is the submitted intervention:
The treatment group used the Fast ForWord Language Series (specifically, the Fast ForWord Language to Reading Product.)

Specify which condition is the control condition:
The comparison group did not receive any additional assistance outside of “business as usual”.

If you have a third, competing condition, in addition to your control and intervention condition, identify what the competing condition is (data from this competing condition will not be used):

Using the tables that follow, provide data demonstrating comparability of the program group and control group in terms of demographics.

Grade Level

Demographic Program
Number
Control
Number
Effect Size: Cox Index
for Binary Differences
Age less than 1
Age 1
Age 2
Age 3
Age 4
Age 5
Kindergarten
Grade 1
Grade 2
Grade 3
Grade 4
Grade 5
Grade 6
Grade 7
Grade 8
Grade 9
Grade 10
Grade 11
Grade 12

Race–Ethnicity

Demographic Program
Number
Control
Number
Effect Size: Cox Index
for Binary Differences
African American
American Indian
Asian/Pacific Islander
Hispanic
White
Other

Socioeconomic Status

Demographic Program
Number
Control
Number
Effect Size: Cox Index
for Binary Differences
Subsidized Lunch
No Subsidized Lunch

Disability Status

Demographic Program
Number
Control
Number
Effect Size: Cox Index
for Binary Differences
Speech-Language Impairments
Learning Disabilities
Behavior Disorders
Emotional Disturbance
Intellectual Disabilities
Other
Not Identified With a Disability

ELL Status

Demographic Program
Number
Control
Number
Effect Size: Cox Index
for Binary Differences
English Language Learner
Not English Language Learner

Gender

Demographic Program
Number
Control
Number
Effect Size: Cox Index
for Binary Differences
Female
Male

Mean Effect Size

For any substantively (e.g., effect size ≥ 0.25 for pretest or demographic differences) or statistically significant (e.g., p < 0.05) pretest differences between groups in the descriptions below, please describe the extent to which these differences are related to the impact of the treatment. For example, if analyses were conducted to determine that outcomes from this study are due to the intervention and not demographic characteristics, please describe the results of those analyses here.

Design Empty Bobble

What method was used to determine students' placement in treatment/control groups?
Systematic
Please describe the assignment method or the process for defining treatment/comparison groups.
A matched design was used with the comparison group matched by gender, age, and pre-test score on the Letter-Word Identification of the Woodcock Johnson-Revised.

What was the unit of assignment?
Other
If other, please specify:
Random Assignment was not used

Please describe the unit of assignment:

What unit(s) were used for primary data analysis?
not selected Schools
not selected Teachers
selected Students
not selected Classes
not selected Other
If other, please specify:

Please describe the unit(s) used for primary data analysis:

Fidelity of Implementation Full Bobble

How was the program delivered?
not selected Individually
selected Small Group
not selected Classroom

If small group, answer the following:

Average group size
Minimum group size
Maximum group size

What was the duration of the intervention (If duration differed across participants, settings, or behaviors, describe for each.)?

Weeks
7.00
Sessions per week
5.00
Duration of sessions in minutes
90.00
What were the background, experience, training, and ongoing support of the instructors or interventionists?
Educators were trained in current and established findings on the neuroscience of how phonemic awareness and the acoustic properties of speech impact rapid development of language and reading skills; the scientific background validating the efficacy of the products; methods for assessment of candidates for participation; the selection of appropriate measures for testing and evaluation; effective implementation techniques; approaches for monitoring student performance; and techniques for measuring the gains students have achieved after they have finished using the product

Describe when and how fidelity of treatment information was obtained.
The Fast ForWord Language to Reading software records student attendance and time-on-task and compares it to the protocol selected (5 days a week, 90 minutes a day).

What were the results on the fidelity-of-treatment implementation measure?
While using the Fast ForWord Language to Reading software, students had 84% participation. The participation showed how much time students spent on task relative to the protocol. Overall, students used the software 84% of the time they were scheduled to use it. (Scheduled is a combination of sessions per week [five scheduled] and duration of each session [90 minutes scheduled]).

Was the fidelity measure also used in control classrooms?

Measures and Results

Measures Targeted : Full Bobble
Measures Broader : Full Bobble

Study measures are classified as targeted, broader, or administrative data according to the following definitions:

  • Targeted measures
    Assess outcomes, such as competencies or skills that the program was directly targeted to improve.
    • In the academic domain, targeted measures typically are not the very items taught but rather novel items structured similarly to the content addressed in the program. For example, if a program taught word-attack skills, a targeted measure would be decoding of pseudo words. If a program taught comprehension of cause-effect passages, a targeted measure would be answering questions about cause-effect passages structured similarly to those used during intervention, but not including the very passages used for intervention.
    • In the behavioral domain, targeted measures evaluate aspects of external or internal behavior the program was directly targeted to improve and are operationally defined.
  • Broader measures
    Assess outcomes that are related to the competencies or skills targeted by the program but not directly taught in the program.
    • In the academic domain, if a program taught word-level reading skill, a broader measure would be answering questions about passages the student reads. If a program taught calculation skill, a broader measure would be solving word problems that require the same kinds of calculation skill taught in the program.
    • In the behavioral domain, if a program taught a specific skill like on-task behavior in one classroom, a broader measure would be academic performance in that setting or on-task behavior in another setting.
  • Administrative data measures apply only to behavioral intervention tools and are measures such as office discipline referrals (ODRs) and graduation rates which do not have psychometric properties as do other, more traditional targeted or broader measures.

Click here for more information on effect size.


What populations are you submitting outcome data for?
selected Full sample
not selected Students at or below the 20th percentile
not selected English language learners
not selected Racial/ethnic subgroups
not selected Economically disadvantaged students (low socioeconomic status)
Targeted Measure Reverse Coded? Reliability Relevance Exposure
Broader Measure Reverse Coded? Reliability Relevance Exposure
Administrative Data Measure Reverse Coded? Relevance

Posttest Data

Targeted Measures (Full Sample)

Measure Sample Type Effect Size P

Broader Measures (Full Sample)

Measure Sample Type Effect Size P

Administrative Measures (Full Sample)

Measure Sample Type Effect Size P

Targeted Measures (Subgroups)

Measure Sample Type Effect Size P

Broader Measures (Subgroups)

Measure Sample Type Effect Size P

Administrative Measures (Subgroups)

Measure Sample Type Effect Size P
For any substantively (e.g., effect size ≥ 0.25 for pretest or demographic differences) or statistically significant (e.g., p < 0.05) pretest differences, please describe the extent to which these differences are related to the impact of the treatment. For example, if analyses were conducted to determine that outcomes from this study are due to the intervention and not pretest characteristics, please describe the results of those analyses here.
Please explain any missing data or instances of measures with incomplete pre- or post-test data.
If you have excluded a variable or data that are reported in the study being submitted, explain the rationale for exclusion:
Describe the analyses used to determine whether the intervention produced changes in student outcomes:
A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used to determine whether there was a difference between the improvement of the experimental group, and the improvement of the comparison group. 21 students in each group had pre- and post-test scores from both assessments. The MANOVA showed that there was a main effect of time, and a time by group interaction with (F(40)=18.5; p<0.01).

Additional Research

Is the program reviewed by WWC or E-ESSA?
WWC & E-ESSA
Summary of WWC / E-ESSA Findings :

What Works Clearinghouse Review

Beginning Readers Protocol

Effectiveness: Fast ForWord was found to have positive effects on alphabetics, no discernible effects on reading fluency, and mixed effects on comprehension for beginning readers.

Studies Reviewed: 11 studies meet standards out of 27 studies total

Full Report

Adolescent Literacy Protocol

Effectiveness: s Fast ForWord was found to have no discernible effects on the alphabetics and general literacy achievement domains, and potentially positive effects on the reading fluency and comprehension domains for adolescent learners.

Studies Reviewed: 8 studies meet standards out of 29 studies total

Full Report

English Language Learners Protocol

Effectiveness: Fast ForWord Language was found to have potentially positive effects on English language development and no discernible effects on the reading achievement of elementary school English language learners.

Studies Reviewed: 2 studies meet standards out of 2 studies total

Full Report

 

Evidence for ESSA

Program Outcomes: One qualifying study, in rural Tennessee, evaluated Fast ForWord. On state Terra Nova tests, compared to controls, students in grades 5-6 using Fast ForWord scored higher than controls, with an effect size of +0.25. This qualifies Fast ForWord for the ESSA “Promising” category.

Number of Studies: 1

Average Effect Size: 0.25

Full Report

How many additional research studies are potentially eligible for NCII review?
16
Citations for Additional Research Studies :

Beattie, K. K. (2000). The effects of intensive computer-based language intervention on language functioning and reading achievement in language-impaired adolescents (Doctoral Dissertation, George Mason University, 2000). Dissertation Abstracts International, 61(08A), 194–3116.

Borman, G. D., & Benson, J. (2006). Can brain research and computers improve literacy? A randomized field trial of the Fast ForWord® Language computer-based training program (WCER Working Paper No. 2006-5). Madison: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin Center for Education Research

Clark County School District. (2011). Improved Reading Achievement by Students in the Clarke County School District who used Fast ForWord® Products: 2006 – 2011. MAPS for Learning: Educator Reports 15(4), 1-8.

Overbay, A., & Baenen, N. (2003). Fast ForWord® Evaluation, 2002–03 (Eye on Evaluation, E&R Report No. 03.24). Raleigh, NC: Wake County Public School System.

Rouse, C. E., & Krueger, A. B. (2004). Putting computerized instruction to the test: A randomized evaluation of a “scientifically based” reading program. Economics of Education Review, 23(4), 323–338

Scientific Learning Corporation. (2004). Improved language skills by children with low reading performance who used Fast ForWord Language. MAPS for Learning: Educator Reports, 3(1), 1–13.

Scientific Learning Corporation. (2004a). Improved Ohio Reading Proficiency Test scores by students in the Springfield City School District who used Fast ForWord® products. MAPS for Learning: Educator Reports, 8(8), 1–6.

Scientific Learning Corporation. (2004b). Improved reading achievement by students in the school district of Philadelphia who used Fast ForWord® products. MAPS for Learning: Educator Reports, 8(21), 1–6.

Scientific Learning Corporation. (2005a). Improved early reading skills by students in three districts who used Fast ForWord® to Reading 1. MAPS for Learning: Product Reports, 9(1), 1–5.

Scientific Learning Corporation. (2005b). Improved reading skills by students in the Lancaster County School District who used Fast ForWord® to Reading 2. MAPS for Learning: Educator Reports, 9(8), 1–4.

Scientific Learning Corporation. (2005c). Improved reading skills by students in Seminole County School District who used Fast ForWord® to Reading 1 and 2. MAPS for Learning: Educator Reports, 9(17), 1–6.

Scientific Learning Corporation. (2006). Improved reading skills by students who used Fast ForWord® to Reading Prep. MAPS for Learning: Product Reports, 10(1), 1–6.

Scientific Learning Corporation. (2007a). Students in Western Australia improve language and literacy skills: Educator’s briefing. Oakland, CA.

Scientific Learning Corporation. (2007b). Improved reading skills by students in the South Madison Community School Corporation who used Fast ForWord® products. MAPS for Learning: Educator Reports, 11(34), 1–7

Troia, G. A. (2004). Migrant students with limited English proficiency: Can Fast ForWord make a difference in their language skills and academic achievement? Remedial and Special Education, 25(6), 353–366.

Waupun School District (2003). Improved Listening Comprehension for Middle School Students in the Waupun School District. MAPS for Learning: Educator Reports, 7(2), 1-4.

Disclaimer

Most tools and programs evaluated by the NCII are branded products which have been submitted by the companies, organizations, or individuals that disseminate these products. These entities supply the textual information shown above, but not the ratings accompanying the text. NCII administrators and members of our Technical Review Committees have reviewed the content on this page, but NCII cannot guarantee that this information is free from error or reflective of recent changes to the product. Tools and programs have the opportunity to be updated annually or upon request.