Singapore Ministry of Education Selects Magma Studios and Carnegie Speech to Develop Spoken English Learning Massively Multi-Player Online Game

Pittsburgh, PA, 11 September, 2012 – Carnegie Speech, the intelligent language learning company, and Magma Studios, Singapore's premier independent game studio, have partnered to create a groundbreaking game that is poised to transform online language learning among primary and secondary students.

Commissioned by Singapore's Ministry of Education, one of the world's leading educational government agencies, the project was born out of an initiative to build the lifelong English speaking skills of the nation's youth, while boosting their career prospects and effectively advancing Singapore's national program to improve spoken English competence.

"In recent years the advancement of new speech analysis technologies have given rise to intriguing possibilities for the innovative use of Info-Communication Technologies for language learning," said Angela Kennedy, President, of Carnegie Speech, International. "By combining such technologies in an immersive 3D game world, students can not only practice speaking English in a highly engaging and non-intimidating manner, they can also benefit from the frequent, instant feedback on their performances that guide them as they progress."

V.A.S.T. (Voice-Activated Spy Tech) is a revolutionary new Massively Multi-Player Online Game for improving spoken English.  To develop V.A.S.T., Magma Studios and Carnegie Speech partnered to create a product that integrates the best of game design, educational theory, leading-edge speech recognition and intelligent tutoring technology. V.A.S.T. features Carnegie Speech's unique, proprietary and state-of-the-art artificial intelligence technologies developed through twenty years of research at Carnegie Mellon University's Language Technologies Institute. The Carnegie system listens to the user, pinpoints errors, adapts the curriculum to maximize the student's learning gains, and offers suggestions for improvements, giving visual, aural, and pictorial feedback.

"Carnegie Speech and Magma Studios are combining the most powerful spoken language training technology with the motivation of online game worlds," said Paul Musselman, CEO of Carnegie Speech. "No other partnership has brought to market a spoken language learning solution that will have such high learning efficacy and be such fun to play.  This will significantly increase the success of educators in teaching speaking skills."

"Magma Studios offers world-class game design and expertise in creating web-browser based 3D immersive game worlds. Combining the powerful motivational mechanics of our game worlds with the proven language learning technology of Carnegie Speech has the potential to create a new era in language learning," said Aroon Tan, Managing Director of Magma Studios.

Key benefits of V.A.S.T. include:

  1. Teaches English oracy through speech recognition and analysis in an entertaining and effective manner;
  2. Focuses on pronunciation, prosody and fluency using technology that doubles speaking proficiency in 10 hours of practice;
  3. Patented pinpointing technology licensed from Carnegie Mellon University provides immediate, understandable and actionable error analysis and instruction;
  4. Intelligent Tutoring technology accelerates learning by selecting the key skills needed by each student and presenting lessons to improve those skills;
  5. Offers a non-gaming mode for classroom use where users can collaboratively role-play different conversations – and teachers and students easily record and playback these conversations for analysis, instruction and enjoyment;
  6. MagmaCORE authoring tools enable creation and customization of country specific content.

Additionally, Carnegie Speech and Magma announced they will offer custom branded versions of the game for license to education, media and publishing companies globally.  Aroon continued, "V.A.S.T. offers an exciting way for publishers to take their digital ESL/EFL learning programs to a new level, in a fully-branded environment".

V.A.S.T. is scheduled for beta roll-out in Q3 2012.

About Magma Studios

Magma Studios is an independent games company in the business of creating games with a focus on leading platforms for commercial release. Passionately integrating research, storytelling, design and game technologies, Magma creates highly original and commercially viable products for clients who are targeting entertainment, education and marketing for today's digital consumer. Magma's client list includes Hewlett-Packard, National Geographic Channel, Netherlands Public Broadcasting, the Disney Channel, Asian Civilisations Museum, Science Centre Singapore and Singapore's National Heritage Board. Visit Magma at www.magma-studios.com for more information.

About Carnegie Speech

A global leader in the development of spoken language training software, Carnegie Speech prepares enterprises and individuals to speak and understand new languages through personalized, immediate and pinpointed language analysis and instruction. Incorporating the linguistic expertise and technical innovations developed through decades of research at Carnegie Mellon University's Language Technologies Institute, Carnegie Speech maximizes the effectiveness of spoken language instruction while minimizing training time and expense. From spoken language training to facilitate commerce and enhance education, to mission-critical communications to improve safety and security, Carnegie Speech products are used by Business, Aviation, Government, Education and Health Care enterprises that depend on effective spoken language communications. Carnegie Speech is based in Pittsburgh, PA and its primary investors include Osage Venture Partners, Golden Seeds and New York Angels. Visit www.carnegiespeech.com for more information.

Media Contact:

Brittany Fraser, KCSA Strategic Communications, +1 212-896-1251, bfraser@kcsa.com
Aroon Tan, Magma Studios, +65 6226 1832, press@magma-studios.com