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Global Barrier Free Project - Sponsored by Lexxica

“Learn more words; speak better English!”

The founders of Lexxica believe that practical communication between all peoples is essential for global peace and prosperity. The Global Barrier Free Project envisions a time when the majority of the world's people can understand and use the 8,000 most frequently occurring words of English. That is the average size vocabulary of students who score 495 on the SAT (reading); 140 on the GRE (verbal), 80 on the TOEFL ibt, 6 on the IELTS, and 730 on the TOEIC. For native speakers, Lexxica seeks to augment merely functional vocabularies with thousands of colorful content words to enrich, enlighten, and distinguish those who possess them.

Not long ago a typical college graduate would have read enough literature to acquire comprehension and fast recall ability for approximately 30,000 English words. Today, reading in all genres is in sharp decline. As a result only the most advantaged students are maintaining that historical average. In addition, declining English vocabulary and intelligibility among non-native students poses a stubborn obstacle to smooth matriculation into English speaking classrooms and multinational organizations.

Historically, educators have implemented extensive and graded reading programs with the aim of increasing student vocabularies through repeated word encounters over time. Research indicates that it requires about 11,000 hours of reading authentic unsimplified texts to attain comprehension of the 8,000 most frequently occurring words; and yet with digital flashcards, like those in Words & Monsters, that same outcome can be attained in about 110 hours. Wouldn't it be fantastic if learners could quickly, autonomously, and pleasurably attain comprehension of the 8,000 most frequently occurring words by playing a game? Imagine how an 8,000 word vocabulary would facilitate improved reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

A significant challenge facing language educators is that each student's accumulated vocabulary knowledge is different due to their disparate learning environments and reading experiences. Lexxica's patented semantic knowledge engine identifies which specific vocabulary words a learner already knows; and which specific words they do not know. The engine then generates a stream of digital flashcards that keep each student focused on acquiring the specific high-frequency general and special purpose vocabulary they most need. The game employs not only spaced repetition to ensure long-term memory, but also six various types of flashcards which present visual, aural, and contextual tasks designed to ensure that all senses and dimensions of each word are fully acquired.

Apart from these critical pedagogical issues another gigantic problem facing educators today can be summed up in one word – smartphones. These devices are so compelling; so addictive, and yet so distracting that educators must now entirely rethink the process of education. Each day over 1 billion people around the world spend from 10 to 30 minutes playing their favorite puzzle-action mobile game. How is it that the matching of candies and colored gems can command so much of the world's attention? The secret to these games is that they purposefully manage the timing and scale of the game's uncertain virtual rewards so as to cause the player's brain to produce higher than normal jolts of dopamine, a powerful neurotransmitter associated with increased motivation, emotional attachment, and enhanced long-term memory.

Words & Monsters employs the same types of uncertain virtual rewards as today's top smartphone games however; it replaces the valueless matching of gems and candies with the highly productive matching of lexical paired associates. When students are able to acquire huge amounts of new vocabulary by playing a game on their own, teachers will find it much easier to guide their students through the exploration of meanings and motivate students by engaging them at their level.

Since 2008 Lexxica has produced several award-winning mobile vocabulary learning systems that far surpass all previous approaches in terms of speed, efficiency, and low cost. The launch of Words & Monsters marks our first free vocabulary game with state-of-art game mechanics. We sincerely hope that you will support the Global Barrier Free Project by recommending the free Words & Monsters vocabulary game to teachers and students around the world.

Lexxica's co-founders, Guy Cihi, Charles Browne, and Brent Culligan, have a combined 75 years of language teaching programs development and classroom teaching experience. Dr. Browne is a recognized authority on English education, vocabulary acquisition, and computer assisted language learning. Dr. Culligan's groundbreaking research on vocabulary item difficulties informed the creation of Lexxica's patented semantics engine. For more than 30 years Guy Cihi has worked to develop innovative learning methods and programs that help people acquire practical knowledge for the benefit of mankind.