Keller and Wolf say they are only at the beginning of understanding the significance of how fast the kids of Wenchi have mastered the English ABCs. The experiment will be replicated in other villages in other countries, using more targeted apps.
One might wonder whether the children of Wenchi need good nutrition and warm clothes rather than a second language and no teacher — a question Wolf said has given her some sleepless nights.
She thinks she has arrived at an answer.
In remote regions of Africa and elsewhere, she said, ‘‘the mother who has one year of literacy has a far better chance to make sure her child can live to five years of age. They are savvier when it comes to medicine, to basic health, to economic development.’’
‘‘So at 3 a.m. when I'm thinking, if I can do one thing ... using my particular knowledge, which is in reading and brain development and thinking — this is my shot; this is my contribution to the nutrition and health of a child."