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Daily High to try out Rosetta Stone

Free language program will aid students who have fallen behind in reading skills.

September 11, 2013|By Kelly Corrigan, kelly.corrigan@latimes.com

In an effort to improve students’ reading skills, educators at Daily High in Glendale will soon begin an eight-week trial of a new pilot program created by Rosetta Stone.

The software company, known for its products that teach people various languages, will provide the service — which is designed to improve reading skills — to the school district at no cost.

Daily High Principal Chris Coulter said the school is currently identifying students who will use the new program, adding that many arrive at the continuation school to make up credits because they have met obstacles with reading.

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“Many who come to us do [struggle with reading],” he said. “That’s why they’ve fallen behind.”

Using the web-based program, students will read material, such as news articles they can access online, into a microphone. The program will then track any words students stumble over and take note of where students pause.

By recording students’ pronunciation of words and monitoring the rate at which they read, educators say the program can help them better intervene after determining where students struggle.

In turn, Rosetta Stone programmers will take in feedback from Daily High teachers about their experiences using the product, which is still in the development stage, according to Jonathan Mudd, senior director of global communications for Rosetta Stone.

The company contacted the school district after Rosetta Stone’s Chief Product Officer, West Stringfellow, met Glendale Unified Supt. Dick Sheehan during a conference last year.

“They discussed their shared interest in exploring the frontiers of learning, innovation and technology,” Mudd said in an email. “That meeting paved the way for further discussion and engagement between the company and the school district and, in turn, led to the pilot.”

Glendale Unified may also pilot the program at Wilson Middle School, said Kelly King, assistant superintendent of Glendale Unified.

“We’re excited to have these innovative partnerships,” she said. “It’s nice to see businesses work with us.”

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Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.

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