Language Buddies were designed by a team of engineers and speech researchers out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Columbia University. The researchers collaborated with accent clinics around the world to create the world’s first pronunciation training device using the method of tactile biofeedback.
Pronunciation challenges exist because of incorrect production (making) or perception (hearing) of a given sound. Usually a student receives basic training in production, but perception is often the missing link. By achieving correct perception, the correct production will follow.
The Language Buddies system works by enabling this perception breakthrough using the sense of touch, without the aid of a teacher, or the requirement of immersion in an English speaking environment. Language Buddies enable you to “feel” correct and incorrect pronunciation.
For example, it is difficult for many non-native English speakers to perceive the difference of correct and incorrect English L or R sounds. Clinical studies have shown (Figure 1) that training through perceptual techniques can lead to a dramatic, long term improvement in accent as judged by native English speakers.
Tactile biofeedback has been proven again and again to provide learning breakthroughs in speech. The INTACT study (Figure 2), which evaluates the Language Buddies tactile biofeedback technology through a randomized controlled single blind study, shows that those subjects using the devices make dramatic and statistically significant gains, while those that do not use tactile biofeedback, do not make significant gains. Visit our clinical page to learn more about research to support tactile biofeedback.