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Teaching-Engine

Of course, while the student may be studying for the content of the lesson, he is coincidentally learning to read better because every time he clicks a word for the sound, a word-sound association is made, reinforcing the student’s memory of the sound of the word.

Although it is very difficult for high schools to provide remedial tutoring for literacy, the Teaching-Engine program provides an economical and practical method for doing just that.  Students which have not learned basic phonics or who have had attention difficulties will find it much easier to concentrate on a computer lesson, than in a classroom.  High school age students are typically very socially sensitive and are often embarrassed  by their academic limitations.  The answer is to practice reading at home using the capabilities of the Teaching-Engine which allows them to go over material many times privately and no one else need know about the remedial studying the student is doing.  Because the Teaching-Engine allows the user to input any material,  practice reading lessons can be done on any subject.  Often teenagers have specific sport or hobby interests and reading material can be put in a reading lesson on the subjects of interest to that student.  This supports the interest in the sport or hobby, and demonstrates the value of reading.

Experience has shown that students will naturally spend more practice time on a computer than with any other conventional teaching method.  The reason is that the student “drives” the computer and the computer reacts to the controls and instructions of the student.  This interactivity holds the attention of the student much longer and the student derives more learning stimulation and direct satisfaction.  Because the Teaching-Engine system employs the learn-test-score-analyze-practice the incorrect elements cycle, the student can independently feel the satisfaction of successful learning, by himself.  A student enjoying success without direct adult assistance will feel a powerful sense of personal achievement which will in turn motivate the student to repeat the experience.

During the last years of high school many students “wake up” and begin to realize that education is an important factor in their lives.  They begin to work for themselves and no longer just to please the teachers or their parents.  They also want to work independently without constant adult supervision.  For students who discover they would really like to read better, but would like to “do it themselves”, the Teaching-Engine gives them the necessary tools.   A high school student can work completely independently using the ability in the Teaching-Engine to click any word to get the sound.   Thus they can enjoy complete independence  from adult supervision, but at the same time have a full time reading tutor at their disposal…  The Teaching-Engine.

• Some students are not ready for high school work
• Reading limitations may seriously affect studying
• High schools may not have remedial reading programs
• Computer tutoring is private and practical
• Content subject can be put in Teaching-Engine
• Reading assistance available with content studying

.It is generally assumed in most school systems, that once a student reaches high school, he or she has achieved a level of literacy necessary to continue with subject learning.    After all, that was the job of the primary school, to teach basic literacy and mathematics.  The reality is, that many students do arrive at high school unable to read and comprehend at a level necessary to continue with the high school curriculum.  Few high schools have the resources to assist learners who are not sufficiently literate to cope with the high school curriculum.  Not only is it impractical for a high school to provide remedial assistance for these students, but even the most motivated and committed parents also will find it difficult to give the assistance these learners need.

The need here is to provide a method for these students to study the content subjects by themselves, even though they cannot read effectively, a method which does not require direct personal human intervention.  The answer should be the computer, but  although computers have been widely used in education for over 30 years, they don’t seem to have provided an answer to the needs.

The approach taken by the Teaching-Engine program targets two fundamental requirements.  One is to provide a means for computerized lessons to be created by the user, and the other is to provide instant reading support.  A high school geography lesson can be efficiently converted to a computerized lesson and the sounds for all the words provided.   If a student with limited literacy studies the lesson on the computer, he gets exactly the same lesson as do all other students in his class.  While he is studying  it on the computer, if there is a word he cannot read, he simply clicks it and the sound is provided instantly by the computer.  If he does not understand the meaning, the definition can also be provided in the lesson.

All the pictures, charts, graphs, diagrams in a high school lesson can be included on the Teaching-Engine computer version.  Dynamic arrows can pop up at a certain point in the text, and point to a particular location on a map or point on a chart or diagram.  Labels, subtexts (like footnotes) and sound effects can be added also.  Multiple choice tests associated with the lesson can be created for practice or for an exam for marks.   If the test is truly on the content matter and not a test of literacy, then the sounds for all the words can be provided for the student.   This would be considered scribing.