25% improvement in writing skills in 11 weeks using Fast ForWord123

Picture of Peter Barnes
Peter Barnes
Writing, Fast ForWord

25 university students who had Fast ForWord123 training for 11 weeks boosted their writing skills 25%.

This compares with a control group of 28 students at the same university who did not receive the training, and who showed no improvement over the same 11 week period.

Because no explicit practice with writing is included in the training program, the results of this study demonstrate that training in basic cognitive, listening, and reading skills generalise to improved writing ability.

The writing skills of the Fast ForWord 123 group were measured before and after training. The measurement tool was the OWLS Written Expression Scale. This is an internationally recognised standardised assessment which showed the 25 students improved their writing skills from below the control group students to above them after the training.

FFW Improves Writing Skills 11 weeks.bmpA peer-reviewed paper by researchers at the Centre for Molecular & Behavioural Neuroscience, Rutgers University, USA (Rogowsky et al, 2013, Frontiers in Psychology), concluded:

The results of this study demonstrated that a neuroplasticity-based, computer training program, designed initially for younger struggling students to improve basic cognitive, language, and reading skills (Fast ForWord), could successfully be implemented in a college setting to help college students with below average writing abilities rapidly achieve above average writing skills.”

“This study also validates the positive benefits of using computer intervention that provides a concise, controlled, and individually adaptive means of significantly improving basic language and literacy skills in a manageable amount of time.

Language, reading & writing are linked

Reading and writing are complementary skills. Writing is putting words on paper. Spoken language is the foundation of written language. Words come from what students hear, speak, and read.

Students must become phonemically aware - words can be broken down into smaller units of sound (phonemes) and it is these sounds letters represent. This is what is needed to break the code for proficient reading, which is linked to proficient writing.

Other studies, e.g. Eldredge and Baird (1996), have found that explicit phonemic awareness training improves writing both in typically developing and at risk students.

Fast ForWord123 builds writing skills because it develops phonemic awareness, language & reading skills.

Fast ForWord123

This research builds on volumes of previous evidence from the last 20 years demonstrating how Fast ForWord123 improves the four components of language for any student:

  • listening
  • reading
  • writing
  • speaking 
The exercises have been designed to follow a developmental trajectory ranging from phonemic awareness, to morphological awareness, to increasingly challenging aspects of reading comprehension within simple sentences to complex texts.

The 25 university students trained on two of the three components of Fast ForWord123:

  1. Language & Cognitive Enhancement modules which train the brain to discriminate and process the 44 phonemes of the English language, and at the same time build the four cognitive skills essential for learning: Memory, Attention, Processing & Sequencing.

  2. Reading Development modules extending the Language & Cognitive Enhancement and building grammar, vocabulary and comprehension.

The third component of Fast ForWord123 not used in this study is the Reading Assistant 1-on-1 online-guided oral reading coaching. It has several hundred texts using sophisticated voice recognition technology to provide timely corrective feedback and pronunciation examples.

Automated measuring and reporting tools are interwoven into Reading Assistant to generate metrics such as words read per minute and question/answer metrics to show the evidence for growing reading comprehension ability.