I have used Read Write and Type in my classrooms for over ten years. It is one of the most powerful tools for developing literacy in young students. - Donald Potter
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San Rafael, California (PRWEB) July 6, 2010
Dr. Jeannine Herron, CEO of Talking Fingers, Inc., today announces that award-winning software, Read, Write & Type, is available online and now has extensive audio help in Arabic, Bahasa Melayu, Farsi, Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish, for students learning English as a second language. Help languages to be added in the future include Portuguese and Tagalog (in development currently), Korean and Vietnamese.
Through federally -funded research and development, Talking Fingers has been able to show that Read, Write & Type is an effective program to teach children and adults how to read and write in English. With the use of an "ESL Toggle", students who don't understand the spoken English instructions in Read, Write & Type can click on a yellow balloon to hear the instructions repeated in their native language.
Online subscriptions are available for only $35 per user (with volume and multiple year discounts for schools, districts, or states). Curious children can now try the first eight lessons of Read, Write & Type on the Talking Fingers web site: http://www.talkingfingers.com/online-demo/ .
"We've been upgrading, enhancing and doing research with Read, Write & Type, with the help of federal grants, since the Apple IIe version came out in 1984", says Herron, a research neuropsychologist. "The addition of multiple help languages contributes significantly to our goal of making effective English literacy instruction available at low cost to everyone in the world. In fact, we are hoping to work with organizations serving refugees in the U.S. to make the Online Edition of Read, Write & Type available to these newcomers free of charge, to help them learn to read and write in English."
In a project funded by the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, (NICHD), sixteen Spanish-speaking 6-7 year olds attended an after-school class for 60 hours using Read, Write & Type. Their progress in reading was compared to that of 16 comparable students who either went home after school, or attended day-care or after-school tutoring. All 32 students were struggling to read and were in the lowest 40% of the class on reading scores. Their home language was Spanish. At this school, primary students were receiving instruction in English with support in Spanish. All the teachers were bilingual but used primarily English in class except for brief clarification in Spanish.
The Read, Write & Type group received 60-70 hours of instruction and all 16 students finished the 40 levels of the program. Classes with two teachers and one aide ran for one hour every day after school, 5 days/week. Students used the Spanish Help feature, as needed.
The Read, Write & Type group showed significantly greater improvement on English Word Attack skills and English Word Identification skills, suggesting that using Read, Write & Type can be very effective at improving reading scores significantly for non-native English speakers who are learning to read and write in English.
Because students received no direct instruction in Spanish reading skills, a more surprising finding was that the Read, Write & Type group also improved more on the Spanish Word Attack skills, suggesting that the development of phonemic awareness and phonics skills in English may affect those skills in Spanish as well, since Spanish uses the same alphabet. Learning to segment words into their component phonemes (phonemic awareness) is the same process in both languages and one of the critical steps to becoming a fluent reader and writer.
About the Talking Fingers Approach:
Read, Write & Type is based on a "speech-to-print" approach that is fundamentally different from other traditional "print-to-speech" programs. It is not the typical "point and click" fare, but is truly interactive, engaging children's eyes, ears, voices and fingers on the keyboard. "The aim of this approach is to activate the most efficient pathways in the brain for skilled reading," says Herron. "Skilled readers call upon the left side of the brain - it holds everything the young brain already knows about words and their meanings - because that's where speech resides. By teaching children to start with speech and construct words as a route to reading, Read, Write & Type seeks to activate the left half first, so that the earliest reading experiences develop the most direct and efficient neural routes."
Availability and Pricing:
The Online Edition of Read Write & Type, with audio help in Arabic, Farsi, Japanese, Malay, Mandarin, Spanish, Tagalog and Portuguese is available and may be purchased at http//http://www.talkingfingers.com. (SRP $35 for single-user subscription, with volume and multiple year discounts for schools, districts, or states)
About Talking Fingers, Inc:
Talking Fingers, Inc. is located in San Rafael California, http://www.talkingfingers.com, 1-800-674-9126. The company was established in 1994. CEO and founder, Dr. Jeannine Herron, Ph.D., has a fascinating background that covers 30 years in brain and reading research. More on the company and Dr. Herron can be found at http://www.talkingfingers.com/press.
Bio - Dr. Jeannine Herron, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO of Talking Fingers Inc.
Jeannine Herron has been involved in children's education since 1955. She taught English, Mathematics, and General Science to middle and high school students in Ramallah, Jordan. She was Co-founder and Program Director of the first Head Start project, the Child Development Group of Mississippi, that served over 5,000 children.
Dr. Herron received her Ph.D. from Tulane University Medical School, and went on to Stanford Research Institute as a neurobiologist and neuropsychologist. In 1974, she moved to UCSF and was awarded a research fellowship from the National Institute of Health (NIH). From 1976 to 1984, she worked as a research psychologist at UCSF, contributing to all aspects of a large NIH-funded project studying dyslexia.
In 1982, she founded a non-profit organization for educational research that produced more than 50 conferences across the U.S. to inform professionals in health, psychology and education about relationships between the brain and learning. She is actively involved in lecturing and providing professional development for teachers.
Her experiences with children in Mississippi, her history in the classroom, her research in dyslexia, and her discoveries from teaching her own children to write, fueled her desire to develop practical tools to help children learn to read and write.