Spelling: teaching and learning spelling

Colin Harrison and Greg Brooks | View as single page| Feedback/Impact

Pupils with special needs - writing / spelling support software

There are dozens of programs available to support writing and spelling, many of which have been devised with the goal of supporting those who are dyslexic, or who have failed to make normal progress.

Below are links to some of the better known. But be aware: it's unwise to assume that any one program will help all learners: often it's a teacher's understanding of how a particular program works that makes it successful. However, all those listed below have been evaluated positively (and often used extensively) by teachers on the MA in Special Educational Needs at the University of Nottingham.

  • For ages 4-11 Many teachers really rate Clicker software for helping beginner or tentative writers. Look at this brief video. The website CALL Scotland also has links to software that can support reading and writing.
  • Reading-while-listening (with or without a computer) can help readers of any age develop fluency, and increase enjoyment. This in turn will help improve word recognition and spelling. MyStudyBar is a suite of (free) software tools that work from the desktop to help dyslexic readers and writers
  • Both Windows and Apple computers now offer free text-to-speech software. The Apple app is incredibly simple: just highlight text and press Command-T, and it is read to you.
  • Co-Writer is very clever software that helps slow writers by offering predictions of the next word they might be wanting to write: teachers can customise with specialist vocabulary, too.
  • Ginger software also make a neat program that corrects spelling and grammar, and can read text aloud in a US or UK accent.
  • A US site with many free resources that can help beginning readers or those with a learning delay is http://www.starfall.com/