A brief description
Write Right is a simplified word processor designed for people with spelling problems. It can be used both to aid and to improve spelling.
How does it work ?
A great deal of interest has has been generated among educators recently by the apparent success of "synthetic phonics" in teaching people to read. There is little that is new in these methods; children were learning through phonetics in the UK in the 1950s. However the fact that someone has learned to read in this way does not mean that they will be able to spell with equal success. A person can know that or is pronounced as in fort and fl is pronounced as in "fly", but does that mean thoughtful should be spelled thortfl? (or even fortfl, if that's the way the person pronounces it.) It certainly isn't clear to many people why thortfl is wrong. However Write Right is specifically designed to cope with such confusion - correctly finding thoughtful for thortfl or fortfl.
This is because at the heart of Write Right is an advanced phonetic spelling checker combined with a final "probability" algorithm to cover simple omissions and inversions.
No spelling checker can hope to unravel sheer nonsense, but provided there is a reasonable attempt at phonetic imitation of the spoken word, nine times out of ten Write Right will be able to identify the writer's intention. For example - "wot" would be correctly identified as "what" - "sumtymz" as "sometimes".
Although the depth and thoroughness of the search means that it can sometimes take a few seconds, this interval will be considerably shorter than the time it would take to find the word in a dictionary or gain the attention of a teacher.
When a word is identified
as incorrect it will first turn
red and crossed through
- then green and underlined. Red indicates that the extensive phonetic search is taking place
and no words can be corrected while this occurs. Typing beyond the red word is still possible.
Right clicking on a green word, brings up a window in which the list of possible words is displayed, four words at a time.
Many common words are identified by lively illustrations and all words can be "read" by the computer (See Sound). Clicking on the desired word will substitute it for the wrongly spelt word in the text.
Suffixed variations of illustrated words are indicated -
Clicking on the second example would place "fiery" in the text.
The depth of the spelling search can be varied according to the needs of the user - and also to reduce the time taken to search on slower computers.
In addition to inconsistencies and illogicalities there exists the problem of homonyms - here : hear - there : their - sum : some - and the like. Write Right automatically identifies many English homonyms and brings up a warning window illustrating each variation. Clicking on the correct version will substitute it in the text.
With "Full help" and "Speak found words" turned on, the program will "'read" all found words when the mouse-pointer moves over them (or when a word is otherwise illustrated). The program can also read all, or a selected part, of any text.
Although the computer simulated voice copes well with most words, it does occasionally mispronounce words and the user should be aware of this.
Naturally your computer must have a sound card and speakers/headphones for audio features to work.
Some teaching features ~
The best way for a weak speller to improve, is to practice writing words with the correct spelling. To encourage such practice Write Right includes a feature (Retype) which requires the user to type the identified misspelling correctly, before it is inserted into the text. This feature can be controlled by parents or teachers.
To accommodate slow typists, the time the program waits before checking non-terminated (with a space or punctuation mark) words can be set to any interval. This feature can be disabled.
If a student fails to find the correct spelling for a word, clicking on the "Leave it" button, leaves the misspelled word in place but turns the text blue. This allows a parent or teacher to quickly review problem words. Occasionally these will be proper nouns which are correctly spelt but are not included in the program's dictionary (or indeed other words not included). If this is the case the blue text can be changed to black. Blue removal can be disabled.
If a correctly spelt word has been identified as incorrect the option of adding the word to a user dictionary is offered. This feature can be disabled.
If addition to the personal dictionary is permitted, pressing "Esc" when the found word window first appears allows the user to immediately add the word to the user dictionary. This feature should be used with caution. It is not available if the user dictionary is disabled.
Our aim ~
The ability to produce correctly spelt text, naturally encourages feelings of pride and satisfaction in the user, and thus stimulates interest in the written word. The aim of Write Right is to restore the confidence of weak spellers by guiding them through the tortuous maze which is English orthography and by gently reinforcing correct sequence and accurate recall.
FINALLY - PLEASE READ (OR LISTEN TO) THE HELP FILE!