Speech pathologists Beth Lawrence and Deena Seifert are revolutionizing vocabulary instruction for elementary, middle and high school students.
The pair joined together four years ago to form Communication APPtitude, an educational technology company that has released two iPad apps and is now launching InferCabulary Pro, a web-based device agnostic instruction program.
“We saw a need with our students that wasn’t being met and we wanted to address that need with technology,” Seifert said.
The app InferCabulary and its pro edition both help students analyze multiple pictures to learn a nuanced understanding of vocabulary words. This technique, so new they had to coin it – “semantic reasoning” — is proving to be highly effective. The other app, WordQuotions, helps students learn the meaning of verb synonyms with equations, such as walk+slowly+heavily+tired=slog, shuffle, plod.
A study conducted at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education and currently under review found significant benefits of InferCabulary over traditional instruction methods in two fifth grade classes, as measured by vocabulary quizzes.
Lawrence and Siefert presented their methods at the National American Speech-Language Hearing Association convention last year and filled two overflow rooms with more than 750 speech language pathologists, and have been invited to present again.
In addition, as part of the TU Incubator at Towson University, Communication APPtitude has signed a distribution contract with Brookes Publishing Company and plans to acquire multiple distribution partners to expand the programs nationwide. They are projecting total revenue goals to exceed $28 million in five years.