Kaplan Inks Deal with Carnegie Speech

Kaplan International Centers announced a partnership with Carnegie Speech to launch its online NativeAccent program in 23 of Kaplan's English-language schools in North America.

NativeAccent is Carnegie Speech's online adaptive-learning program, which helps students improve their speaking and listening skills. Using advanced speech recognition and intelligent tutoring technologies that originated at Carnegie Mellon University, NativeAccent listens to a student's spoken English and diagnoses very specifically his or her individual strengths and weaknesses. It then creates a customized learning plan for each student which maximizes learning gains and minimizes required study time.

Kaplan performed extensive trials of NativeAccent in controlled studies at its North American English schools and found that its students' pronunciation improved significantly when adding NativeAccent to existing classroom-based instruction.

"While language skills and systems can be taught well using traditional classroom methodologies, it is a challenge for students to improve their pronunciation skills from classroom instruction alone," said Valerie Pierce, director of academic development, Kaplan International Centers-North America, in a statement. "By offering NativeAccent to our students, we are providing them with an automated tool that delivers clear learning gains by giving students immediate feedback and more opportunities to practice in and outside of the classroom."

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