Abstract

We report results of a 2 ½-month pilot study of Project Listen’s PC-based Reading Tutor program for enhancing English education in India. Our focus was on low-income elementary school students, a population that has little or no exposure to English outside of school. The students showed measurable improvement on quantitative tests of reading fluency while using the tutor. Post-pilot interviews explored the students’ experience of the reading tutor. Further, a survey of educational programs gives a picture of the wide range of institutions providing training in English in and around Bangalore to low-income populations.  Each has associated infrastructure, personnel, and curricular constraints that would be faced by interventions like the reading tutor, even if it can be shown to be effective.  The perceived advantages of literacy software and associated measures of success also vary by program.