Tech & Dyslexia
Tutoring Program Adds Specialized Texts for Dyslexic Readers
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Century Education Foundation is embedding lessons into
its adaptive, online tutoring system, to address the needs of
dyslexic students of any age. New Century, a nonprofit that focuses
on helping teachers and parents improve the learning of students with
specific needs, is working with Noah Text to add its stories into the
organization's "Intelligent Tutoring System."
The online reading
program was developed with Sarah Blodgett, the developer of Noah
Text, as well as researchers at Michigan State University and
Academy-trained reading specialists.
Noah Text uses an
approach in its specialized books designed to guide the reader toward
the most critical patterns in English, bringing predictability to a
system that, as Noah Text described, "is otherwise very complex
to the dyslexic reader." The method is intended to reduce the
burdens posed by English and its many irregularities. The goal is to
help students focus more on the meaning of the text, while increasing
reading fluency and speed and helping them to have a more fluid and
relaxed reading experience.
Noah Text is
currently embedded in a series of chapter books, titled, The
Mystical Years of Franklin Noah Peterson. Teachers have reported
to the company that these are often the first chapter books that
their dyslexic students have read with success.
Along with the use
of the Noah Text book content, the New Century lessons provide other
mechanisms to help teach students the orthographic patterns needed to
decode more complex words found in the text. The text includes
supports for helping students with articulation. The lessons also
provide pre-reading, reading and close reading exercises with
features for helping readers develop better skills with understanding
literal comprehension, main idea and inference.
"We have been
working with New Century for a year to develop lessons to help older
students with dyslexia using Noah Text. Noah Text enhances reading
fluency, stamina and independence by highlighting critical word
patterns within text," said Associate Professor Troy Mariage, an
associate professor at Michigan
State's Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special
Education, in a press release.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @schaffhauser.