Product Review

Introducing: Reading Assistant – Our New Reading Tutor!

I’m a bit fascinated to introduce to you a new reading software. Last night, I was telling V that this software is like a ‘personal reading tutor’ to Little Edison, and he was very excited about it. Much to my delight, our boy is showing great interest in this software too.

It’s really cool, I’ll tell you why.

This software is called the Reading Assistant by Scientific Learning. It builds brain fitness with intensive reading practice using speech verification technology to act as a tutor, and provides one-to-one guided oral reading support.

First of all, to operate the Reading Assistant software, you’ll need a computer/laptop, internet connection, covered headphone, a Web-browser with Adobe Flash Player, a user ID and a password.

This is how it works:

Main Menu

After we login to the main module of the Reading Assistant, a selection of reading topics will appear in the library window.

Preview

Once a topic is chosen, our child will be given a preview of the topic. He can choose to read the text silently, but if he can’t, he can also choose to listen to a model reading.

Example
Example: The word “surely” is highlighted here when the user has difficulty in reading it.

After the initial read, the speech recognition mode will be turned on. Our child will read the text aloud to the Reading Assistant. This is the most interesting part of the software, I think. When he has difficulty reading a word, Reading Assistant will provide a visual cue on the screen. And if he does not self-correct, Reading Assistant will intervene by pronouncing the word.

After the oral reading is completed, our child will take a quiz to assess his comprehension. A progress report will then be created, and it shows every word that has been read correctly, words that require practice, as well as words that were missed completely.

Progress Report

The report will also show his progress in the measure of Words Correct per minute (WCPM). This is the progress report for Edison, it shows a marked improvement and on the third day, he reached his goal. When he saw the fireworks on his progress chart, his eyes were beaming with joy. He felt encouraged.

Progress Report II

The overall process can be summarized as follows:

  1. Preview and / or read silently
  2. Listen to a model reading
  3. Record their reading
  4. Answer guided reading questions

What do I think of the Reading Assistant software, you may ask. Well, I’m liking it because I haven’t seen any other program or e-book in the market that provides real-time guidance like what the Reading Assistant does.

In addition, I like the report that the program generates after the oral reading. It shows me words that he needs to work on, and a standard measure of his oral reading fluency – that is Words Correct per Minute (WCPM). With this, I can track his progress effortlessly.

And one last thing to add, this software is very easy to use. Little Edison knows how to use it by himself, and I don’t have to sit by his side all the time. But of course if I’ve time, I’ll sit near him so I know if he’s really reading or not.

Edison using Reading Assistant on his own

I would recommend the Reading Assistant to beginners and struggling readers. It’s also suitable for intermediate readers who have attained basic word recognition and are now building their vocabulary, fluency and comprehension.

Reading Assistant software is available at BrainFit Classroom. For further information, please visit www.brainfitclassroom.com.

Before I end this post, I have GOOD NEWS for you. If you’re interested in a trial class or holiday programme with BrainFit Classroom, please read on.

Quote “Our Little Smarties” to enjoy this offer!

+Offer is limited to the 1st 10 customers:

1. Sign-up for BrainFit Classroom Trial Class at a very special price of $20 (U/P: $45) + FREE Reading Assessment.

2. Get $20 OFF BrainFit Classroom Holiday Programme.

[dropdown_box expand_text=”Terms and Conditions:” show_more=”Read” show_less=”Close” start=”hide”]

  1. Offer not valid for existing BrainFit Classroom clients.
  2. Offer is valid for 1 student only.
  3. Offer must be utilised by 30 Jun 2013.
  4. Offer is not to be used with any other prevailing promotions or discounts.
  5. Use of discounts is subjected to existing terms and conditions of BrainFit Classrooms operations.
  6. Management reserves the right to vary the terms and conditions. 

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Disclosure: Reading Assistant software was provided by BrainFit Classroom for review. No monetary compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Dominique Goh
    March 28, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    That’s a really cool way of learning reading. Way to go Edison 🙂

    • Reply
      Emily
      March 30, 2013 at 2:20 PM

      Thanks, Dom. He really enjoys reading with this new program. Hope his enthusiasm will last though.

  • Reply
    Maggie
    March 29, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    Sounds like a wonderful program. How frequent does he practice this?

    • Reply
      Emily
      March 30, 2013 at 2:21 PM

      Hi Maggie,
      He practices every alternate day. Every session is about 15 minutes.

  • Reply
    Charlotte
    April 1, 2013 at 1:58 AM

    Hi Emily,

    so nice to read your sharing on this e-learning enrichment class ^^ Just if Edison will take his own initiative for this activity ?? how to introduce this “new assignment’ to him @@ perhaps my daughter is still too small to do homework as it is one of the most troublesome thing for me to deal with her about this @@ and for myself, I believe having mom here together will give her more incentives to do the task ( yet I don’t want this to become a habit) … just her school ( I guess it is also a trend in nowadays schooling to frame it as “parental involvement”) … and introducing new enrichment activity to her implies to me too

    Charlotte

    • Reply
      Emily
      April 1, 2013 at 8:59 AM

      Hi Charlotte,
      I login to the program first, because he doesn’t know how to type in the username & password yet. Then, I’ll click on the assignment and give him a briefing on what to do. After I click on the “record” button, he will read on his own. He will click “next” to read the next page when the current page is completed.

      He takes about 10 minutes to finish reading. Then, I’ll come back to check and make sure he knows how to go to the “quiz” page. The quiz questions are multiple choices questions. So, he knows how to click on the radio button to submit his answers.

      After a few practices, he knows the steps of the programs now. It’s actually quite easy. But of course, it’s also a good family bonding if we can sit down with them and read together. It’s also a fun activity to do at home.

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