New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame Honors Paula Tallal, Co-Founder of Scientific Learning, With Inventor of the Year Award

Lauren Williams's picture
Friday, October 12, 2012

The New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame has selected Scientific Learning Corp. (Nasdaq:SCIL) co-founder Dr. Paula Tallal to receive an Inventor of the Year Award. A cognitive neuroscientist and board-certified clinical psychologist, Tallal will receive the award for her patented and innovative research leading to the creation of the company's Fast ForWord(R) family of educational software products, which are used in school districts across New Jersey and in more than 40 countries around the world. 

Tewksbury Township School District 

The Tewksbury Township School District in Califon, N.J. is one such example and recently decided to expand its Fast ForWord implementation after conducting a pilot at Tewksbury Elementary School with selected students in grades one through four. The Fast ForWord program accelerates learning by applying proven research by Tallal and others on how the brain learns. Through individualized, adaptive exercises, students build reading, language, and cognitive skills that are foundational to learning. The program supports struggling students, as well as those working at or above grade level, by improving their ability to learn and retain knowledge. 

During the 12-week pilot, students worked on the Fast ForWord software 40 minutes a day, five days a week. All students in the pilot group displayed growth on the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA). More than half of the students displayed significant gains, moving up at least one grade level in independent reading ability. Two of these students increased their independent reading level by two grade levels. 

This school year, the Tewksbury Township School District also plans to add Scientific Learning's Reading Assistant program to its two schools. Reading Assistant software combines advanced speech recognition technology with research-based reading instruction to help students strengthen their reading fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. 

Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District 

Other New Jersey districts, such as the Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District in Englishtown, N.J., have been using the Fast ForWord program for several years to improve student learning. 

During the 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years, the Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District chose the Fast ForWord program as the primary intervention for students who displayed academic difficulty and who were referred to their school's Intervention & Referral Service (I&RS) committee. According to Director of Special Education Georgianna Petillo, from 2009 to 2011, 12 of the 20 third graders, 12 of the 21 fourth graders, and 11 of the 17 fifth graders who participated in the Fast ForWord program are no longer experiencing academic difficulty at this time. 

"Since 2009-10, all of our elementary schools have had the Fast ForWord program," said Petillo. "During this time, the program has contributed to the decrease in our classified population." 

New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame Award Presentation 

The New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame honors inventors, organizations, and others who have contributed to innovation in New Jersey. The organization promotes the role of invention in the state's development and the role of inventors in improving society and changing lives. 

Tallal, who will be recognized at the Hall of Fame awards presentation on Oct. 18th, is the founder and co-director of the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience at the Rutgers-Newark campus of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, one of the nation's most distinguished public research universities. She also is a co-director of the Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center (TDLC), one of six National Science Foundation Science of Learning Centers. Tallal was selected by the Library of Congress to be the Commentator for the Field of Psychology at its Bicentennial Celebration and earned the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Prize for her work leading to the development of the Fast ForWord software. 

About Scientific Learning Corp. 

We accelerate learning by applying proven research on how the brain learns. Scientific Learning's results are demonstrated in over 250 research studies and protected by over 55 patents. Learners can realize achievement gains of up to two years in as little as three months and maintain an accelerated rate of learning even after the programs end. 

Today, learners have used over 3 million Scientific Learning software products. We provide our offerings directly to parents, K--12 schools and learning centers, and in more than 40 countries around the world. For more information, visit www.scientificlearning.com

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