Pupils learning English need help to hand. That's the 'Read&Write Tutor' toolbar, writes Chris Pim
Read&Write Tutor is a customisable toolbar that integrates with common 'office' software and Internet browsers, providing a variety of powerful tools to support the development of speaking, listening, reading and writing.
The software offers tremendous potential for supporting learners of English as an additional language (EAL) who are at different levels in their acquisition of oracy and literacy.
EAL learners are not a homogenous group. Some newly arrived learners will be completely new to English, others may speak and hear relatively well but struggle with cohesive writing, whilst others, perhaps the majority, will be more advanced EAL learners, who can take up to seven years to acquire full academic proficiency in English. Moreover, EAL learners tend to show uneven profiles of achievement across the curriculum, requiring specific intervention and access to tools that help to scaffold their learning.
Support for EAL teaching and learning can place a significant demand on schools and practitioners, so tools that promote independent learning are particularly in demand. This is where Read&Write Tutor, from TextHelp, excels.
It is important to understand that the software does not purport to teach English in the traditional sense. It offers the user a customisable set of tools to support language learning across the curriculum; such as providing a learner with access to texts through text-to-speech synthesis and online translation, supporting oral development, offering context-sensitive help for reading and writing. The software also offers busy practitioners tools to prepare resources for their learners.
Ratings (out of 5)
Fitness for purpose 5
Ease of use 4
Value for money 4
Software that provides a helpful toolbar (leading to its own helpful facilities) for 'office' programs and internet browsers for students learning Engish as an additional language, £240 ex VAT for Read&Write Tutor CD (includes postage)
More information (inc free trial) from Victoria Martin
Tel: +44(0) 28 9442 8105
Chris Pim is an ICT education consultant for students with English as an additional language (EAL)