NEWS RELEASE: Orange Neurosciences launches world’s largest survey on reading fluency
May 17, 2021
Orange Neurosciences of Kingston, Ontario, Canada, is launching the world's largest survey of reading skills through its new app, ReadON Plus.
The survey, which is free to use, will run in India and uncover information about reading fluency, grade-level reading levels, executive functioning, and cognitive skills. It will provide a clearer understanding of how people read and how they learn over time. In addition, the study will evaluate how easily non-native English speakers can read.
"Our purpose is to provide information to schools and policy-makers to give them a better understanding of how we can improve learning and how to provide the proper interventions," said Dr. Vinay Singh, founder and CEO of Orange Neurosciences. "There have been similar though smaller studies carried out before; we are aiming for 100,000 respondents to complete the survey."
The survey will run with the support of Satish Kapoor, founder of GIEN (the Global Inclusive Education Network) in New Delhi and Dr. Sandhya Limaye, Ph.D., of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, a core team member and coordinator of GIEN. Dr. Bhuvanesh Awasthi, Ph.D., director of research and training, will lead this study at Orange Neurosciences, Canada.
The ReadON Plus survey app is developed by a research and development team with expertise in big data, machine learning, bioinformatics and cognitive neurosciences. It is available for Android and Apple devices. The survey can be re-taken every seven days so parents can see how their child's reading is progressing over the period. It is free to use.
"Parents and teachers need the right tools to help their students," Dr. Limaye said. "This survey will give us deep data to develop those tools and methodologies to help kids succeed. "Numerous studies have proven that the ability to read well impacts individuals long after they leave the classroom and is one of the most significant indicators of a person's ability to earn.”
"Beginner readers use the parieto-temporal area of the brain to learn to read. They have to decode and identify one word at a time, which causes them to read slowly, impacting comprehension. Experienced readers, on the other hand, use the occipito-temporal area of the brain. For these readers, the skills needed for reading have become automatic, and readers can go directly from what their eyes see to meaning," explained Dr. Awasthi, whose research in Australia focused on cognitive neuroscience.
Being able to read and comprehend quickly gives fluent readers a massive advantage at school and in the workplace.
"The findings from this survey will impact the development of inclusive education policies and empower all stakeholders in this ecosystem, including school administrators, principals, teachers, students, and parents," explained Mr. Kapoor.
Studies point to a substantial gap in the earnings of strong readers over weaker readers. Over a lifetime, that has a significant economic outcome. Stronger readers are also shown to have better health.
"There is likely not a family in the world that doesn't have a member who struggles to read because of a learning difference whether that be autism, ADHD or dyslexia," said Singh. "The results of the survey could have a big impact across the country, indeed around the world."
The survey will run in India beginning May 17, 2021.