R/R&D of neuroplastic games for foreign language learning

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: W911QX-13-C-0044
Agency Tracking Number: JD131-003-017
Amount: $148,707.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2013
Solicitation Topic Code: 003
Solicitation Number: 2013.1
Small Business Information
260 Merimac Street, Newburyport, MA, -
DUNS: 133864244
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Herbert Snow
 Vice Ppresident, Game Design
 (978) 499-9099
 bert@muzzylane.com
Business Contact
 David Martz
Title: Vice President
Phone: (978) 390-3909
Email: dmartz@muzzylane.com
Research Institution
 Stub
Abstract
In the domain of language, infants and young children are superior learners when compared to adults, in spite of adults'cognitive superiority. Language is one of the classic examples of a''critical''or''sensitive''period in neurobiology. Children who learn a second language at an early age are better able to learn other languages when they are older. Research also shows that mere exposure to language at an early age is not effective. Language acquisition and retention requires emotional and social connections. We propose to research the critical brain functions that correlate to language acquisition skills and to then design, develop and test a learning game that taps in to these skills. The goal is not to teach any one language, but to train and exercise the neurons that are associated with language acquisition. We also know that in the classroom, the most common and effective language instruction methods are centered around collaborative task-based problem solving in which the students are given a certain amount of freedom to use language skills to work together to solve a problem. The aim of the game design and implementation will be to replicate social, collaborative problem solving activities that provide freedom of decision-making and moment-to-moment constructive feedback.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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