Sep 13 / Dr John Brown

Microsoft Reading Progress when learning Spanish - First Results

Recently we wrote about ‘Reading Progress’ by Microsoft, a program that detects mispronunciations in any modern language, when children read aloud any text and gives feedback straight away.

It is available free to any school anywhere in the world that uses Microsoft Teams.

We now have the first results back from a randomised control trial where a class of 12 year olds learning Spanish used Reading Progress for homework once a week for 8 weeks compared to an identical class taught Spanish by the same teacher that did not use the software.

We found that children using Reading Progress pronounced a set text statistically more accurately than children that did not practice with the software (p<.001). We found this even when considering any differences between the classes in ability to pronounce before the trial began, (using analysis of covariance with pretest as the covariate).

The results were not just statistically significant they were educationally substantial as well. We found a Cohens’ d effect size of .55, in other words a half of a standard deviation, meaning those using Reading Progress improved by about 17% in only 8 weeks compared to identical peers receiving the same teaching from the same teacher.

These results suggest regularly reading aloud to a computer that gives feedback on mispronunciations has a positive impact on learning modern foreign language pronunciation. The program may be especially useful in practicing sound to writing correspondences. The software may be important simply because it increases how often language learners can be asked to practice this key exercise.

If you would like to know more about Reading Progress please watch the video below and let us know if it interests you.

To learn how to use Reading Progress and Reading Coach in Microsoft Teams: Click here.

Created with