We are interested in whether technology can help children learn the foundations of literacy (such as phonological awareness) in a playful, creative way that gives children agency and a sense of self-efficacy. In our app SpeechBlocks, children can build scenes by spelling objects in them. The robot acts as a helpful guide, assisting children with building whatever words they request. By means of this, it helps them accomplish their creative goals while learning in the process. The app is highly open-ended: it is capable of building any word and contains a library of about 1800 imageable words.
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