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A Brief History of A.R.R.O.W.®

A.R.R.O.W. was first developed in the mid 1970’s when Dr Lane was working as a Teacher of the Deaf. Using two track recording equipment he could play back a student’s own voice so that they could listen and compare this with the tutor's voice (his own) in order to alter their own speech sample.

On playback of the students own voice some immediate effects became apparent.


The deaf students often smiled when they heard their own voices but never smiled while listening totutor sample and would often turn the tutor voice off entirely when listening to the recordings.


It was also observed that some students silently mouthed to their own voice recording but never did so when listening to the tutor voice.

A third feature evident after a few weeks was that the deaf children voluntarily lowered the speech volume, in some cases up to 20 dB less than they previously had required.

From the very onset ARROW was showing direct links with the neurological internalising processes so necessary to learning.

Potential population for A.R.R.O.W.®
​The population able to benefit from Self-Voice® replay is enormous. Socio-economic expectations are markedly suppressed for people unable to reach, or who have lost, requisite reading, writing, speech and listening skills.
This unacceptable situation could be greatly improved for millions of children and adults, including those with disabilities.
The population able to benefit from A.R.R.O.W. includes those with Reading and Spelling problems, English as an Additional Language, Dyslexia, Autism, Low Self Esteem, Visual Impairment, Hearing Impairment, Speech and Language Disorder/Delay, Children in Care, Stroke, Brain Injury, Cerebral Palsy, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other learning and cognitive difficulties. 

Further information regarding IT requirements can be found here

A.R.R.O.W.® is an acronym for Aural – Read – Respond – Oral – Write.
Aural … The student listens to speech on headphones.
Read … The student reads the text of the spoken material.
Respond … The student responds to the stimulus.
Oral … The student repeats the spoken word(s)
Write … The student writes down what is heard from the Self-Voice recording and marks their own work.

A.R.R.O.W.® is therefore a multi-sensory blend of techniques, containing a combination of established and innovative learning strategies.

It is however, the student’s own voice, the Self-Voice, which remains central to the approach.

It is acknowledged by the Department for children schools and families, that A.R.R.O.W.® achieves, “significant if not spectacular results”. Latest evidence from across the UK, England, Wales, Ireland, Finland and the Caribbean, shows that A.R.R.O.W. is a major contributor amongst   literacy, speech and communication improvement strategies.
Research shows A.R.R.O.W.® gives rapid sustained improvements in: 

Spelling Skills
Speech production and understanding
Working Short Term Memory
Listening in Noise

Please see:

1. ‘Self-Voice, A Major Rethink’, Dr Colin Lane 2010. ISBN 978-0-9567754-0-5.This book includes data from Exeter University and many Primary and Secondary Schools/Colleges in Eire, England, Wales and Trinidad.

2. ARROW: A new Tool in teaching of Literacy: Report of Early Intervention, Dr Mary Nugent 

Educational Psychologist. REACH Journal of Special Needs Education in Ireland Vol.25 No.2. 2012.

3. 'What works for Pupils with Literacy Difficulties', G.Brooks and NFER 2007

4. 'Brooks's What Works for Literacy Dificulties. The effectiveness of intervention schemes, 6th edition', G. Lavan and J. Talcott 2020

5. Norfolk Independent Report - 'Exploring the use of the ARROW literacy intervention for looked after children in a UK local Authority', S.Raspin, R.Smallwood, S.Hatfeild and L.Boesley

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