Fast ForWord

What is Fast ForWord?

Fast ForWord® is a family of software products that also builds foundational language and reading skills while working on four core cognitive processes:

  • Memory- The ability to store information and ideas.
  • Attention- The ability to focus on information and tasks, and ignore distractions.
  • Processing rate- The rate at which a student is able to accurately perceive and manipulate information.
  • Sequencing- Placing the detail of information in its accustomed order.

Strengthening of these skills results in increase in critical language skills. Fast ForWord targets both cognitive and language skills together. It uses patented technology that leverages the brain’s plasticity and changes the brain’s function. It is based on more than 30 years of research on how the brain learns and how this connects to language and reading. It increases processing efficiency, thereby increasing the learning process that results in lasting gains.

Key skills addressed by Fast ForWord

Key skills addressed in the Language and Literacy series are:

  • Auditory Sequencing
  • English Language Conventions
  • Listening Accuracy and Comprehension
  • Phonological Accuracy, Fluency, and Memory
  • Vocabulary
  • Word Analysis

Key skills addressed in the Reading Series are:

  • Phonemic Awareness
  • Phonics and Decoding
  • Spelling
  • Fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension

Individualized for Each Learner

Fast ForWord® is designed to adapt to the individual learner. The exercises constantly adjust to the user’s responses. Therefore the exercises adapt with each keystroke to individual skill levels and responses. The programs are designed to keep the users motivated and challenged at the same time. Research indicates that if the items are too easy, the learner is bored, if they are too difficult, the learner may lose motivation. Therefore the user’s response determines the level of difficulty of the next item. The program is customized for each user and focuses on his/ her weaknesses.

Engaging and Motivating Games

All children love playing video games. The Fast ForWord® activities are presented as computer games that are engaging and motivating. The users are encouraged to obtain high scores. Fun and rewarding animations make the games interactive and reinforcing.

Science Behind Fast ForWord Programs

Fast ForWord® programs are based on neuroplasticity, an area of neuroscience. Neuroplasticity or brain plasticity refers to the brain’s ability to change at any age throughout life. The Fast ForWord products use patented technologies that leverage the science of brain plasticity. The Fast ForWord program triggers changes in the brain and provides optimal foundation for learning and reading success.

The Fast ForWord LANGUAGE and LITERACY series includes a patented technology that stretches and emphasizes speech sounds at early exercise levels, progressing to natural speech sounds as the student advances to higher levels. This technological ability to “acoustically modify” speech helps students recognize speech sounds, first in isolated syllables, then in words and finally in sentences.

Fast ForWord Products

Fast ForWord LANGUAGE Series

This series is designed to build foundational elementary school reading and language skills to help students learn successfully. It consists of two products: Fast ForWord Language v2, and Fast ForWord Language to Reading v2. The focus of these products is to develop listening accuracy, phonological awareness, language structures, and emphasize the link between spoken and written language to guide young students to become proficient readers.

Fast ForWord LITERACY Series

This series is designed to help middle and high school readers close the achievement gap. It consists of two products: Fast ForWord Literacy, and Fast ForWord Literacy Advanced. The focus of these products is to develop listening accuracy, improving phonological awareness, language structures, and increasing processing efficiency so they can establish a foundation for learning.

Fast ForWord READING Series

This series is designed to increase processing efficiency and build critical reading skills. These products use a scientifically proven approach to help students improve reading comprehension skills. It consists of six products: Fast ForWord Reading Readiness, and Fast ForWord Reading Level 1-5. This series builds skills such as letter recognition, phonological awareness, letter-sound associations, decoding skills, vocabulary knowledge and skills, knowledge of word origins, word forms, sentence structures, punctuation, and reading comprehension.

Service Delivery

The Fast ForWord® products can be used conveniently and effectively from the comfort of your home. The users train online on any 5 days of the week for a minimum of 30 minutes per day. The total duration of the program can range from 4-16 weeks. Following each session, the results are automatically uploaded via the Internet, ensuring that the therapist is monitoring your child’s usage, participation and progress. We receive daily summary reports to motivate and keep families updated on the progress. Alerts are also posted on the progress reports, thereby informing the therapist that the student is experiencing difficulty on a task and interventions may be required. The therapist will then contact the family to discuss possible interventions via phone, email or home/ clinic visit.


A number of highly respected, independent educational organizations have reviewed the Fast ForWord® products and found them effective in raising literacy outcomes.

De Anda I. (2000). Glasses for the Ears: Technology provides a critical link to literacy, Multimedia Schools: A Practical Journal of Technology, including Multimedia, CD-ROM, Online, Internet, & Hardware in K-12, 7(2).
National Center on Intensive Intervention. (2013). NCII reviews three studies on the Fast ForWord Language Series with medium to large effect size.
The National Center on Response to Intervention. (2011). NCRTI Reviews the Fast ForWord Language Series.
The Nevada Department of Education and The Leadership and Learning Center (2010, March). Nevada Department of Education: Fast ForWord is a “High-Gain Program”
Programs and Practices: Fast ForWord (2002). Education Commission of the States.
Schachter J. (1999). Reading Programs that Work: A review of programs for Pre-Kindergarten to 4th grade. Milken Family Foundation.
What Works Clearinghouse. (2013, March). Beginning Reading intervention report: Fast ForWord. U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences.
What Works Clearinghouse. (2010, August). Adolescent Literacy intervention report: Fast ForWord. U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences.
What Works Clearinghouse. (2006, September). English Language Learners intervention report: Fast ForWord Language. U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences.

Additional Videos

Dr. Michael Merzenich on Autism and Fast ForWord®

Dr. Steven Miller on Fast ForWord® Research

Improved Auditory Attention and Early Reading Skills after Fast ForWord® Intervention

Increased Brain Activity in Reading-Related Areas after Using Fast ForWord®

Dyslexic Learners Dramatically Improve Reading Skills with Fast ForWord®

Improving Auditory Processing Skills in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder using Fast ForWord®