The Science

7spell is scientifically designed, and utilizes principles based on decades of research in learning, retention, and psychology. Here is a summary of the theory and research behind 7spell's effectiveness.

Craik, F., and Tulving, E. "Depth of processing and the retention of words in episodic memory." Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Vol 104(3) (1975): 268-294. Print and PDF.

In this seminal study performed at the University of Toronto, Canada, the authors performed a series of tests in which they gave the study participants a sequence of words to learn, with information related to each word as it appeared in order. They discovered that when the information provided stimulated the participant's brain to process the word on a more involved level (referred to as "deep encoding" or "degree of elaboration" in the study), that word was more effectively learned and remembered. With 7spell, the user is given a wide range of additional information about each spelling word, including the word's definition - one of the key factors in enhanced memory, according to this study - as well as usage examples, synonyms, and antonyms.

Garcia, S.M., Tor, A., and Schiff, T.M. "The Psychology of Competition: A Social Comparison Perspective." Perspectives on Psychological Science, November 2013, 8(6):634-650. Print and web.

Each person is influenced by a unique set of factors related to their own status and progress towards goals, but is also affected to a greater or lesser degree by the achievements and perceived standards of the people around them. This analysis of past and current studies looks at the way people view and are motivated by individual goals as well as societal achievement (competition). The authors conclude that effective use of motivational strategies must take both into account. This is something that 7spell accomplishes by providing each user with the ability to set personal goals, earn reward points, and view their own progress tracking reports, and also to publish all of those results on public social media platforms.

Kivetz, R., Urminsky, O., and Zheng, Y. "The Goal-Gradient Hypothesis Resurrected: Purchase Acceleration, Illusionary Goal Progress, and Customer Retention." Journal of Marketing Research, February 2006, 43(1):39-58. Web.

In a study focusing on the influence of reward-scheme programs on behavior, the authors found that when people see visible progress towards their goals they are more likely to increase the activity required to reach those goals. The study also confirms that most people are also motivated by receiving rewards for completing specific activities, even if those rewards are not immediately transferable to actual material or monetary benefits. Status points, rewards, and real-time progress tracking are all methods used in 7spell to encourage frequent spelling practice by awarding points for the completion of exercises and activities. Because the user can access their progress charts at any time, they will always be able to see how close they are to achieving their personal spelling goals.

Buton, M., Winterbauer, N., and Todd, T. "Relapse processes after the extinction of instrumental learning: Renewal, resurgence, and reacquisition." Behavioural Processes, May 2012, 90(1): 130–141. Print and web.

Instrumental learning, also called "operant conditioning," is a method by which behaviors are learned in connection with a stimulus, a reward, or both. In this research done at the University of Vermont, the authors studied the ways in which the information connected to a specific behavior is retained when the stimulus is removed, and how subsequent repetition or reward reinforces information recall and a resumption of previously learned behaviors. They conclude that there are two primary methods of reinforcing active memory and behavior: by creating a different way to test the subject's memory, and by providing the opportunity for intensive focused repetition of that stimulus-behavior response. These two methods are widely used in the 7spell activities and games to create the link between instruction and memory that is so crucial in effective spelling learning on the student's part.

Xue, G., Mei, L., Chen, C., Lu, Z-L., Poldrack, R., Dong, Q. "Spaced Learning Enhances Subsequent Recognition Memory by Reducing Neural Repetition Suppression." Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 2011;23(7):1624-1633. Print and web. http://doi:10.1162/jocn.2010.21532

In this study comparing long-term and short-term memory, the study authors tested the neural activity of participants as they memorized a set of images. Half of the study participants used massed learning techniques, in which each new image was presented multiple times in a row; the other half were given the images in a spaced repetition mode, where the images were shown in alternating order. Although each participant saw each image the same number of times, the people in the spaced-repetition exercise were able to accurately remember more images, and for a longer period of time. Repetition is a key technique in learning spelling, and 7spell incorporates spaced repetition in two ways. First, the system uses randomized selection of spelling words from the user's current list to populate the activities and exercises, ensuring an interval between word reviews. Second, the system's Word Discover feature provides pop-up instant review of the words on that list, again in random order. By providing users with multiple opportunities throughout the day to read and review their words, 7spell provides all of the benefits of the spaced repetition methodology in its spelling instruction.

Blocki, J., Cranor, L., Datta, A., and Komanduri, S. "Spaced Repetition and Mnemonics Enable Recall of Multiple Strong Passwords." Cornell University Library, January 3, 2015. PDF.

Spaced repetition is a memory training tool that relies on frequent and consistent review of information; mnemonics is a memory technique that involves multiple ways of looking at that information, such as the incorporation of images or story lines. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University focused on the combination of spaced repetition and mnemonics in evaluating how best to train people to remember specific pieces of information: computer passwords. They found that by combining the two methodologies, the results in both ease of learning and retention were increased. 7spell uses each method separately and together to help users learn and remember new spelling words by using the same words in multiple exercises, presenting spelling words in a variety of formats, and encouraging users to add information related to each word to make a personal connection that helps them to remember that word and its correct spelling.


How To Help Your Child Enjoy Reading

Categories: News, Tips and Tricks |

What do you do when you have children who can read, but just won’t? Is a love for reading something parents and teachers can inspire in children, or is reading something we’re born to like or dislike?

To encourage your child to love and enjoy reading you first need to understand the factors that may be preventing them from enjoying reading.

More appealing pastimes

It’s no wonder that children prefer to play video games, chat with friends or just watch TV – these are more enjoyable activities because they don’t require much effort.

To make reading a more appealing alternative to video games why not introduce them to foolproof, age-appropriate, best-sellers? You can even start out with book that inspired a child’s favorite movie or television program. Before you know it, your child will be writing fan-fiction on their favorite books.

Boring, uninspiring books

Children don’t like wasting their time on things that are irrelevant or just plain boring, and who can blame them? Adults don’t either. Rev up the interest factor by trying out different genres and media for reading until you find what works for each child. For example, getting them an e-reader, so similar to the tablets they use for playing games, might motivate a child to read more.

Difficult and frustrating

If your child is having reading difficulties this will naturally draw them away from reading. Talk with the child’s teacher and focus on identifying and/or ruling out any learning difficulties. Ask the teacher if they have suggestions for a course of action that would help the child get interested in reading.

Often something as simple as assigning a purpose to reading (e.g. learning about how planets form) will make the activity seem more meaningful and appealing.

Cultivate a love for reading

It’s actually easy to get your child to enjoy reading. Here are the five first basic steps to achieve this:

1) Recommend reading material based on things you know they already like. If that’s Batman, give them lots of comic books to start reading.

2) Be a role model. Don’t sit with a tablet in one hand and your smartphone in the other. Read books, magazines, and newspapers. Put new books and journals in places your child usually hangs out. Even if it’s just out of curiosity, they will at least skim through an article or chapter!

3) Organize activities around reading, like frequent library visits. Join a parent-child book club, play reading-related games like spelling games, and make family evenings together the time to bring out word board games like Scrabble.

4) If your child is young enough for bedtime stories, make a habit out of it. Reading out loud will get your child to grow fond of reading and ask for more material to read on their own.

5) Start building a home library with books you read together. This will be soon considered an ongoing, open-ended project where newly read books will be added to an ever-growing library.


7 Speed Reading is designed to be the world’s most powerful speed reading training program.

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