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UTA Innovation Helps New Language Learners

A business formed on the UTA campus is developing software that will help people master a native-sounding accent in a foreign language.

Visiosound’s “visual accent trainer” will allow someone to speak into a cell phone and receive easy-to-understand visual cues to help them perfect their pronunciation.

Visiosound is a recipient of a 2016 Impact Award from TECH Fort Worth, a business incubator and valued UTA partner.

UTA Curriculum and Instruction Associate Professor Jodi Tommerdahl worked with Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering Samir Iqbal and Mohammad Motasim Bellah, one of Iqbal’s recent Ph.D. graduates, to develop a prototype and co-found Visiosound. A team of graduate and undergraduate students is also working on the project.

UTA offers vast support for faculty members hoping to take ideas to market. The university helped Visiosound incorporate and find support at TECH Fort Worth. TECH Fort Worth guides technology startups and budding entrepreneurs.

“We just want to take this as far as we can go,” Tommerdahl said. “We want to see Visiosound everywhere. We want to see people on the bus and people on the beach using their visual accent trainer.”

Tommerdahl believes Visiosound could make a huge difference not only for foreign language learners, but also children with speech disorders and people with hearing impairments unable to receive oral feedback as they try to learn an oral language.

Monday, March 28, 2016