New York Chinatown CMP & Knowji Closing the “Word Gap”

(New York, May 15, 2014) Literacy meets technology in the 21st century as New York Chinatown’s CMP, a not-for-profit organization, collaborates with Silicon Valley-based Knowji, Inc. to launch its first bilingual vocabulary app, Knowji AWL+ for Chinese ESL students. The iPhone/iPad app is designed to close the “word gap” and help immigrants learn words that are commonly used in academic environments. The collaboration is made possible by a donation from Dan Gerstman, New York philanthropist and CEO of Quest Service Group.

Immigrants and low-income students are at risk of falling behind in school and losing motivation to achieve good grades because of the “word gap”. The “word gap” stems from having a much smaller vocabulary than the rest of society. According to a recent NPR report, research shows that this “word gap” contributes to a compounding achievement gap between disadvantaged and advantaged members of society.

Knowji, Inc.’s CEO and Co-Founder, Emmie Tse Thomas, is intimately familiar with the “word gap”. She grew up in New York City neighborhoods where many people have a limited English vocabulary. Her company’s mission is to help raise literacy worldwide by using her personal knowledge to design apps that offer a novel approach to learning quickly and effectively.

Knowji AWL+ contains over 1,000 words commonly used in academic text, and includes all words in the Academic Word List (AWL) – a list designed for ESL students by the world-renowned Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. “Knowji’s practical vocabulary, clear pronunciation, vivid pictures, and ease of use can help anyone effectively learn and remember words,” said Dr. Dong Yang, who directs the Adult Literacy Training Program at CMP and holds a Ph.D. in English.

Knowji’s apps have been featured by Apple, and are successfully being used in schools and at home worldwide. Unlike other apps, Knowji uses a scientifically proven methodology called Spaced Repetition to ensure excellent memory retention, and it uses images, sounds, example sentences, and a game-like design to maximize user interest. Learners can also compare their own pronunciation of words with a native English speaker’s pronunciation. “At CMP, we’re already using Knowji, and it’s very effective in helping students develop their English vocabulary.  I hope more people will discover Knowji,” adds Yang

From May 15 to May 18, Knowji AWL+ and Knowji Vocab 7-10 (an SAT vocabulary app) will each sell for $6.99, 30% off regular price. Knowji makes other apps and prices start at $3.99. Knowji’s apps are designed for Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

About CMP and Knowji
CMP, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization promoting economic self-sufficiency and career advancement amongst New York Asian Americans. Knowji, Inc. is a Silicon Valley mission-based education technology company dedicated to helping people learn more in less time.

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