Students with Dyslexia or Dysgraphia, as well as those with Auditory Processing Disorder, Speech Language Impairment and Visual Memory weakness are likely to have great difficulty spelling. Multi-sensory intervention that teaches syllables and explicit teaching of letter-sound knowledge is necessary for these students to learn to spell phonetically. Students who can’t spell phonetically can be supported through scaffolded software that presents students with words to use.
Once effective intervention has enabled the student to spell phonetically, text prediction software will be helpful because it allows the student to start to type their own choice of word, and it will predict the specific word they need. Younger students can then select the word to enter it into their sentence. Students from Year 3 and upwards need to be taught to copy the word from the prediction menu, saying the letters/ sounds as they type them. They must understand that they can’t afford to become lazy and just select words from the menu. Students need to be taught “if you don’t use it, you lose it” which means that if they don’t type words they know how to spell, but just select them; they will lose their ability to spell those words.
The ATapps online courses teach students how to use text-prediction in the best possible way: to further develop their spelling skills. Specific exercises are provided to practice using text-prediction in conjunction with voice capture software to make the writing process easier.
Focus on The User
It is very important that the text-predictor software is taught in a specific way. If a student has a physical disability, it is appropriate for them to tap the predicted word into their text. However, for all other students, they must start the write the word; look for it in the prediction bar; copy it into their text. This way, they are afforded the opportunity to learn to spell the word and will, hopefully, think about the letters used to make the different sounds in the words, and be more likely to spell the word correctly the next time they use it.