An interactive learning device in a laid open book format for toddlers and preschoolers, having a plurality of advantageous features. The device has keys in the form of raised letters of the alphabet that are depressed to make a voice processor circuit recite the letters. The learning device receives a card that spells out a word, and the speech processor circuit, upon the depressing of the keys that correspond to the letters constituting the word, pronounces the word phonetically, both letter by letter and by the entire word. The device provides numerous feedback mechanisms for reinforcing learning, and is of a portable, compact shape.
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1. A method of interactive learning comprising the steps of:
- providing an interactive learning device having a plurality of letter-shaped keys, a card receiving portion, and a speech processor coupled to said keys, such that at least one phoneme is associated with each key;
- providing a plurality of cards receivable by said card receiving portion and identifiable by the speech processor each card defining at least one predetermined sequence of letters representing a word;
- placing at least one of said cards in said card receiving portion; and
- selecting said keys when said card is received by said interactive learning device, to cause said speech processor to compare said selected keys to said predetermined sequence, and if said selected keys are selected in correct order to spell the represented word, to recite a position-dependent phoneme associated with a selected key, or if said selected keys are not selected in the correct order, to recite a name of the letter of the key.
2. The method as recited in claim 1, wherein said speech processor recites said word when said keys are selected in the correct order to spell said word.
3. A teaching device, comprising:
- (a) a sequential arrangement of selectable indicia representing a plurality of language symbols spelling a word, each language symbol having at least one phoneme associated therewith; and
- (b) an output, configured to compare a selected indicium to a predetermined sequence of indicia associated with the sequential arrangement and, if the selected indicium is selected in the sequence of the arrangement, to produce an output signal representative of a phoneme associated with the selected indicium, wherein the signal produced represents the phoneme associated with the language symbol as determined by a position of the selected indicium in the predetermined sequence or, if the selected indicium is not selected in the sequence of the arrangement, to produce an output signal representative of the name of the language symbol.
4. The device as recited in claim 3, wherein the output is responsive to a selection of an indicium from the arrangement.
5. The device as recited in claim 3, wherein at least some of the language symbols define letters.
6. The device as recited in claim 5, wherein successive selection of each indicium in the predetermined sequence causes the output to produce a succession of signals together representative of a pronunciation of the word.
7. The device as recited in claim 5, wherein an indicium in the predetermined sequence is associated with a silent "e" and selection of the indicium causes the output signal to be representative of no sound.
8. The device as recited in claim 7, wherein at least one language symbol represents a combination of at least two letters.
9. The device as recited in claim 8, wherein the at least one language symbol represents a digraph.
10. The device as recited in claim 3, wherein at least some of the indicia in the arrangement are fixed to the teaching device.
11. The device as recited in claim 3, wherein the output includes a voice synthesizer and a transducer, and the voice synthesizer is configured to generate an electrical signal representative of the phoneme and drive the transducer to produce the output signal.
12. The device as recited in claim 11, further comprising a switch configured to cause selection of at least one of the indicia.
13. The device as recited in claim 12, wherein the voice synthesizer includes a memory for storing output signals associated with a plurality of phonemes.
14. The device as recited in claim 13, wherein the voice synthesizer is configured to selectively access the memory in response to activation of the switch.
15. The device as recited in claim 14, wherein the output signal is an acoustic signal.
16. The device as recited in claim 3, wherein the output is configured to produce an output signal if the selected indicium is present in the sequential arrangement but not selected in the sequence of the arrangement.
17. The device as recited in claim 16, wherein the output signal is representative of a name of the selected indicium.
18. The device as recited in claim 16, wherein the output signal is representative of a phoneme and determined by the position of the selected indicium in the predetermined sequence.
19. The device as recited in claim 16, wherein the output signal is representative of an error message.
20. The device as recited in claim 3, wherein the output is configured to produce no output signal if the selected indicium is present in the sequential arrangement but not selected in the sequence of the arrangement.
21. The device as recited in claim 3, further comprising an input configured to change the predetermined sequence of indicia.
22. The device as recited in claim 21, further comprising a memory having stored therein a representation of a plurality of sequential arrangements of indicia.
23. The device as recited in claim 22, wherein the input receives a signal which references a stored one of the represented plurality of sequential arrangements.
24. The device as recited in claim 23, wherein the input comprises a card reader configured to receive cards each representing at least one sequential arrangement.
25. An interactive learning device, comprising:
- a housing including a plurality of switches;
- a sound production device in communication with the switches and including a processor and a memory;
- at least one depiction of a sequence of letters, each letter being associable with a switch; and
- a reader configured to communicate the identity of the depiction to the processor,
- wherein selection of a depicted letter activates an associated switch to communicate with the processor, causing the sound production device to generate a signal corresponding to a sound associated with the selected letter, the sound being determined by a position of the letter in the sequence of letters.
26. The interactive learning device according to claim 25, wherein at least some of the letters are three-dimensional and mounted to said housing.
27. The interactive learning device according to claim 2, wherein said sound production device is configured to issue an audible acknowledgement when said letters are selected in said sequence.
28. The interactive learning device according to claim 25, wherein said sequence of letters defines a word, and said speech processor is configured to drive said speaker to recite said word when said letters are selected in correct order to spell said word.
29. The interactive learning device according to claim 25, wherein said sound production device produces no sound if said selected letter is not a correct letter in said sequence.