About Us

OUR MISSION

To ensure all children’s right to learn to read, by providing educators and families with the means to teach language & early reading.

image of Word Scientists team

WHO ARE ARE

We are education and technology geeks who translate scientific research on language and early literacy into pedagogical practice.

OUR STORY

Problem>Idea>Solution

PROBLEM: How to teach, What to teach, and Where to get the right materials

Our solution came out of necessity in 2015 to support under-resourced schools in Nepal. Students were attending schools in record numbers, yet literacy rates were alarmingly low. We found that the problem was twofold:

  1. pedagogy was not emphasized to teach young children how to read and
  2. schools could not afford appropriate reading materials for students. They were missing how to teach, what to teach, and more importantly where to get the right materials to implement.

IDEA: Teaching educators how to teach reading, while giving them visually engaging materials to use with their students.

Working with pilot schools in multilingual communities, we’ve built a platform that provides the instructional knowledge for how to teach early reading and engaging books, lesson guides, and videos to apply this knowledge in a systematic and explicit way in any classroom. This works for all children by translating the science of reading into engaging lessons, books, and activities through multiple modalities.

SOLUTION: Access to an engaging scientifically based language and early literacy curriculum and resources wherever you are

We are here to work with you as your students move through the phases of reading and language development, making sure they are learning the critical language and literacy concepts at the right time with enough practice. We are your solution to maximizing your instruction with students whether in person, remotely, or in a hybrid situation where you want students to continue to learn at home.

LET’S TALK NUMBERS

Over 400 students in 10 pilot schools are learning to read with a strong emphasis on understanding.

Missions and values aside, we’re all numbers. Because it’s children who are learning to read, we don’t just give any materials that we think or feel may work. Our team has taken a serious approach in studying and analyzing the most cutting-edge research in the field of literacy development as well as the latest neurological research focused specifically on how to teach phonics and metacognitive thinking strategies.

We have been careful to collect objective data to support our anecdotal portraits of success. The Early Grades Reading Assessment (EGRA), the internationally accepted measure of reading achievement, showed that students, whose teachers participated in virtual, pedagogical learning sessions with WordScientists and used the materials in their classrooms, out-performed their peers in a comparison school: on a combined outcome measure AND on the individual sub-tests. You can read about it in more depth in our White Paper.

MEET THE EXECUTIVE TEAM

Jacob Bronstein

Jacob Bronstein

CEO

Linda Liss-Bronstein, Ed.D.

Linda Liss-Bronstein, Ed.D.

Curriculum Development

Yein Suh

Yein Suh

Product

George Carrara

George Carrara

Video Content & Illustration

Ortal Gefen

Ortal Gefen

Software

Michelle Yee

Michelle Yee

Marketing

The Science in Word “Scientists”

Our goal is to translate scientific research into pedagogical practice to make learning effective for all early readers. We would like to thank the scholars working in this field, especially the authors listed in the bibliography below:

Scientific References

  1. Adlof, S.M., Perfetti, C.A., & Catts, H. (2011). Developmental changes in reading comprehension: Implications for assessment and instruction. In S. J. Samuels & A.E. Farstrup (Eds.), What research has to say about reading instruction (pp.186-214). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
  2. Allen, M.M., Ukrainetz, T.A & Carswell, A.L. (2012). The narrative language performance of three types of at-risk first grade readers. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 43, 205-221.
  3. August, D., & Shanahan, T. (2006). Developing literacy in second-language learners:Report of the National Literacy Panel on language-minority children and youth. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  4. Bear, D.R., Helman, L., Templeton, S., Invernizzi, M., & Johnston, F. (2007). Words their way with English learners: Word study for phonics, vocabulary and spelling instruction. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
  5. Blachman, B., Ball, E.W., Black, R. & Tangel, D.M. (2000). Road to the code: A phonological awareness program for young children. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing
  6. Bowers, P.N. and G. Cooke (2012). Morphology and the Common Core: Building Students’ Understanding of the Written Word. Perspectives on Language and Literacy 38(4): 19-24.
  7. Brady, S. (2012). Taking the Common Core foundational standards in reading far enough. Perspectives on Language and Literacy 38(4):31-35.
  8. Catts, H., Adolf, S.M & Weismer, S.E. (2006). Language deficits in poor comprehenders: A case for the simple view of reading. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 49, 278-293.
  9. Chall, J.S. (1996). Stages of reading development. Texas: Harcourt Brace College Publishers.
  10. Cunningham, A., Nathan, R., & Raher, K. (2011). Orthographic processing models of word recognition. In M. Kamil, P. Pearson, E. Moje, & P. Afflerback (Eds.), Handbook of reading research, Volume IV. (pp. 259-285). New York: Routledge.
  11. Denton, C. A., Taylor, W.P., Fletcher, J.M., Vaughn, S., Barth, A.E., & Francis, D.J. (2012). An experimental evaluation of guided reading and explicit interventions for primary-grade students at-risk for reading difficulties. Presented at the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading Conference, July, 2012.
  12. Ehri, L.C. (1998). Grapheme-phoneme knowledge is essential for learning to read words in English. In J. Metsala & L. Ehri (Eds.) Word recognition in beginning literacy (pp. 3-40). New Jersey: Erlbaum.
  13. Ehri, L.C. (2005a). Development of sight word reading: Phases and finding. In M. Snowling & C. Hulme (Eds.) The science of reading: A handbook (pp. 135-154) . Malden, MA: Blackwell.
  14. Ehri, L.C. (2014). Orthographic mapping in the acquisition of sight word reading, spelling memory, and vocabulary learning. Scientific Studies of Reading, 18 (1), 5-21.
  15. Gove, A. and P. Cvelich. (2011). Early Reading:Igniting Education for All. A report by the Early Grade Learning Community of Practice. Revised Edition. Research Triangle Park, NC: Research Triangle Institute.
  16. Gunning, T. (2014). Assessing & Correcting Reading and Writing Difficulties: A Student Centered Classroom. Boston: Pearson.
  17. Hadaway, N. & Young, T. (2006). Changing classrooms: Transforming instruction. In T. Young & N. Hadaway (eds.), Supporting the literacy development of English learners: Increasing success in all classrooms. Newark, DE: International Reading Association, Inc.
  18. Hadaway, N. & Young, T. (2006b). Negotiating meaning through writing. In T. Young & N. Hadaway (eds.), Supporting the literacy development of English learners: Increasing success in all classrooms. Newark, DE: International Reading Association, Inc.
  19. Herrera, S.G., Perez, D. R., & Escamilla, K. (2010). Teaching reading to English language learners: Differentiated literacies. Boston, MA: Pearson Education.
  20. Lepola, J., Lynch, J., Laakkonen, E., Silvén, & Niemi, P. (2012). The role of inference making and other language skills in the development of narrative listening comprehension in 4-6-year old children. Reading Research Quarterly, 47, 259-282.
  21. Liss-Bronstein, L. (2012). RTI for language: Explicit and systematic intervention for narrative discourse skills in kindergarten.
  22. Petersen, D.B. (2010). A systematic review of narrative-based language intervention with children who have language impairment. Communication Disorders Quarterly, XX (X), 1-14.
  23. Robinson, C. (2005). Languages and literacies. Background paper for the 2006 EFA Global Monitoring Report. Retrieved from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0014/001461/146104e.pdf
  24. Roser, N., Battle, J., and Zoch, M. P. (2009). Children’s literature in linguistically and culturally diverse classrooms. In J. Coppola & E.V. Primas (eds.), One classroom, many learners: Best literacy practices for today’s multilingual classrooms. Newark, DE: International Reading Association, Inc.
  25. Schmidt, P.R., Gangemi, B., Kesley, G. O., LaBarbera, C., McKenzie, S., Melchior, C., Merrick, B., Sunser, R., & Williams, M. (2009). My language, my culture: Helpinig teachers connect home and school for English literacy learning. In J. Coppola & E.V. Primas (eds.), One classroom, many learners: Best literacy practices for today’s multilingual classrooms. Newark, DE: International Reading Association, Inc.
  26. Schwarzer, D., Haywood, A., & Lorenzen, C. (2003). Fostering multiliteracy in a linguistically diverse classroom. Language Arts, 80 (6). Proquest, p. 453.
  27. Share, D.L. (2011). On the role of phonology in reading acquisition: The self-teaching hypothesis. In S. Brady, D. Braze, & C. Fowler (Eds.), Explaining individual differences in reading (pp. 45-68). New York: Psychology Press.
  28. Spencer, T.D., & Slocum, T.A. (2010). The effect of narrative intervention on story retelling and personal story generation of preschoolers with risk factors and narrative language delays. Journal of Early Intervention, 32, 178-201.
  29. Tunmer, W.E., & Nicholson, T. (2011). The development and teaching of word recognition skill. In J. Metsala & L. Ehri (Eds.), Word recognition in beginning literacy (pp. 405-427). New Jersey: Erlbaum.
  30. United States Agency for International Development (2013). Books that children can read: Decodable books and book leveling. Washington, D.C.
  31. Westby, C. (1999). Assessing and facilitating text comprehension problems. In H. Catts & A. Kamhi, (Eds.). Language and reading disabilities (pp.154-223). Massachusetts: Allyn & Bacon.