How can we dramatically decrease frustration and failure for early and struggling readers, while at the same time increasing the range of what they can read and enjoy?
The key is to combine decoding support with digital material that readers want to comprehend.
Many e-books for children advertise a whole-word-based feature of word support, such that children can touch on a word they can’t read and hear the whole word pronounced. Unfortunately, what we know from decades of research in the reading, cognitive neuroscience, and dyslexia fields is that this type of whole-word pronunciation help is of little or no help to many children, particularly those who are most at-risk of reading failure.
The current lack of decoding support in e-books and other digital material is a tremendous missed opportunity for self-teaching. For the first time in history, we have technology that can make the letter-sound structure of words visible and audible to beginning readers in a way that paper cannot. However, this type of support is unlikely to ever find its way into material created by commercial e-book and other software publishers because it is much less expensive to simply provide children with whole-word pronunciation support.
The Solution? Project UD3.
With Project UD3, we are creating a Universal Digital Decoding Dictionary (UD3) that can underlie any digital text—including e-books, e-mail, and websites—so that anyone can teach themselves to read new words with any digital text that matters to them, without frustration, failure, or embarrassment. Based on the latest research in cognitive psychology and reading development, our dictionary provides the support of a world-class reading tutor, available 24/7.
For more information, download here.