Interactive System for the Promotion of Language and Communication

Project Type: FONDEF ID16I10210 Two-Stage IDeA Program 
Main Institution: Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.
Associated Institution: University of Concepción.
Position: Alternate Director.
Award Year: 2017. Finishing Year: 2018.

Director: Marcela Peña G.

Alternate Director: Pamela Guevara A.

Researchers: Esteban Pino Q., Enrica Pittaluga P.


The Interactive Optimized Language Stimulation System – IOLSS (SIELO, in Spanish), is an educational technological toy developed as a mobile application for devices running Android OS. The choice of the technological platform is based on the wide access children have to smartphones or tablets [1][2], which makes it easier to present educational games to them.

See poster presented at NER’ 2019 conference.

SIELO seeks to stimulate language, contingency and attention of children between ages 2 and 4, through cognitive tasks in the form of interactive games which are distributed by modules. This is because at two years old, children are already in a linguistic stage [3], which would be reinforced by the developed game. This reinforcement is performed through tasks, with which the child may expand their vocabulary, learning underused or infrequent words, for example “wheat”. They can also learn the alphabet letters as well as their sound, such as “M” which sounds like “mmm”. On the other hand, since a child at age three is already capable of naming objects [4], a module focused on stimulating speech; here the child is taught to vocalize both the words as well as the letters presented. 

The developed application makes use of children’s interest in technology, to promote in them the control of their attention, since to play and surpass the stages they must wait for answering turns, respecting the instructions given by the teacher. In each activity included in the game, the child is evaluated according to the type of answer given (correct, incorrect, or omitted), as well as the response time. All the data is saved in a database for posterior analysis.

In SIELO, the child will be able to interact with the teacher, who aside from giving the game’s instructions, also gives feedback based on the type of answer. Studies focused on the cognitive development of children point out that multimedia elements such as animations and sound effects are positive in maintaining the child’s concentration, thus improving their learning process [5], which is why the teacher’s videos have been specially designed for the application, as well as the objects in the videos chosen by specialists.

SIELO consists of a main application with the game, and a complementary application for a tutor. The tutor’s application is connected via Bluetooth to the main application in order to externally control the child’s game, allowing for the evaluation of the child’s vocalizations, pausing the game, start breaks, among others.

References (all in Spanish except for [5])

[1] “Estudio VTR Internet Segura: Un 40% de los niños de 5 años tiene un celular propio con acceso a Internet” (2015) T13 Artículo Online. Mayo 2015. [Available Online: June 2017] []

[2] Sepúlveda P. (2015) “Dos de cada tres niños menores de 12 años del país es dueño de un celular”, Diario La Tercera. Octubre 2016. [Available Online: June 2017] []

[3] Castañeda P. F. (1999) “El Lenguaje Verbal del Niño: ¿Cómo estimular, corregir y ayudar para que aprenda a hablar bien?” Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos Fondo Editorial. Sitio Web Comunidad Andina. Biblioteca Digital Andina. [Available Online: June 2017] []

[4] US NIH NIDCD “Etapas del desarrollo del habla y el lenguaje” (s.f.) [Available Online: June 2017] []

[5]Bus A., Takacs Z., Swart E. (2015) “Benefits and Pitfalls of Multimedia and Interactive Features in Technology-Enhanced Storybooks: A Meta-Analysis” Review of Educational Research. National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. [Available Online: June 2017] []

Undergraduate Theses related to the project

Student Thesis Defense Date
Josefa Bonilla M. Electronic Engineering Thesis: “Mobile application for cognitive stimulation and teaching of spatial concepts in preschool children” March 8th, 2019.
Jaime Jiménez R. Biomedical Engineering Thesis: “Development of Android Application for Language Stimulation at Preschool Age” August 24th, 2017.


3003, 2019

Interactive System for Language and Communication Stimulation Directed to Young Children

C. Vásquez, J. Jiménez, M. Guevara, P. Cortés, M. Herrera, E. Pittaluga, E.J, Pino, P. Guevara, M. Peña. Interactive System for Language and Communication Stimulation Directed to Young Children. 9th International IEEE EMBS Conference On Neural Engineering (NER’19), San Francisco, USA, 2019, pp. 9–12, 8717073. DOI :  

1012, 2018

Interactive System for the Promotion of Language and Communication in small children

C. Vázquez, J. Jiménez, E. Pino, P. Guevara, M. Peña. Sistema Interactivo de Promoción del Lenguaje y la Comunicación en niños pequeños (Interactive System for the Promotion of Language and Communication in small children). XXVII Congress of Electronics-Electricity (INGELECTRA 2018), Valdivia, Chile, 2018. Honorable mention.