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Penryn College

“Overall, Read&Write has helped us tremendously toward providing individualised learning and support at Penryn.”

Nicole dos Santos, ICT Integrator

Penryn College


Read&Write supports Penryn students’ attainment

South African school welcomes wide mix of students

Founded in 1991, Penryn is a co-educational private school in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, South Africa. While it’s an English-speaking institution, its scholars represent a wide range of cultural and ethnic groups, including children who are new to the English language.
 
Since 2018, the introduction of Read&Write from Texthelp has given Senior Primary learners of all ages a valuable literacy boost in class and while they’re studying independently. For Penryn, a key benefit of Read&Write is its cross-platform compatibility. It works seamlessly across Microsoft, Apple and G Suite platforms, letting students access Read&Write’s friendly, easy-to-use literacy features on any computer hardware or operating system.

“You’ll find every device under the sun here,” notes Nicole dos Santos, ICT Integrator. As well as using Windows PCs and iPads provided by the school, students can bring their own laptops and tablets to class.

Encouraging reading and writing with greater confidence

“Read&Write helps learners read with confidence and write longer passages of text,” explains Nicole. “It’s valuable for our younger students, as well as older students with language challenges and English learners. They can read as much of a passage or story as they can – and then get Read&Write to help with any words they don't know.”

Read&Write’s appeal extends to students with learning challenges (including dyslexia) and physical disabilities, helping them tackle longer passages of text with more confidence and less stress. What’s more, it makes all kinds of content more accessible for students who are mastering English as a new language.

Nicole particularly welcomes Read&Write’s power to improve students’ reading fluency and extend vocabulary, without the stigma of making ‘mistakes’ in front of teachers, peers or parents.

“It improves their fluency of reading, while new vocabulary is introduced smoothly without disrupting the reading process. In fact, our students love learning new words now! Many of them feel less self-conscious when they’re corrected by Read&Write rather than a teacher or parent. 

“Then they highlight and collect these new words to build up their personalized dictionary/word lists, complete with pictures and speech. They can go through their vocabulary lists many times, on multiple devices, at school or at home, and continue to build on their vocabulary and reading skills. The excitement when they can finally recognise a word without help is incredible!”

Complementing this, Read&Write’s text prediction feature enables language-challenged learners to write longer, more descriptive passages – enriching their work while deepening essential vocabulary and writing skills.
 
“Another lovely feature is that Read&Write allows a student to record themselves reading a passage,” confirms Nicole. “They can listen back to how they’ve improved over time – this lets teachers keep assessment records for reading development. It’s wonderful for monitoring improved fluency, pronunciation, vocabulary and expressive reading.”

Supporting self-study and independent learning

Read&Write also helps older students doing any kind of research by reading long passages aloud to them. Its language translate option gives extra assistance to students who may be slow readers or struggling with pronunciation.

“The Text to Speech feature helps children find the information that they need,” confirms Nicole. “It helps them really hear the language... it helps them to identify and get help with words they don't know... it helps them create word or vocabulary banks to practice... and it enables them to complete research tasks faster.”

Nicole also praises Read&Write’s highlighting tool that allows students to make study notes and collect key ideas from a text. “Students can highlight a question in one colour, find the passage in the text and highlight that in the same colour. They then extract both the passage and the question relating to it. This works brilliantly for students who struggle with reading for meaning. We’ve also used this technique for problem-solving questions in mathematics, subject specific texts and poetry”.

Another valuable Read&Write feature is Talk & Type. “It’s a huge help to older students who struggle with long written tasks,” notes Nicole: “They can create rich and descriptive passages, stories, explanations, tutorials – all without the length of the task hampering their delivery.”

Helping all students realise their true ability

“Overall, Read&Write has helped us tremendously toward providing individualised learning and support at Penryn,” Nicole concludes.

“The students get results that truly reflect their abilities without other challenges hampering them – and they’re able do so on any device.”