Overcoming Learning Difficulties
Overcoming Learning Difficulties 

Reading Assistant Plus

What is Reading Assistant Plus & how can it help?

Reading Assistant Plus is a scientifically-based intervention that combines advanced speech recognition technology with the latest reading science to help struggling students strengthen their reading fluency, vocabulary and comprehension to become proficient, competent readers.

Reading Assistant Plus and Fluency:


Reading fluency is the ability to decode words easily and accurately, recognise words with automaticity, and read aloud text with prosody. Instead of reading word by word, fluent readers focus their attention on the meaning and the message of the text.






Reading Assistant Plus builds Fluency:

  • Models: Each selection contains a fluent audio model
  • Pronunciation support: Programme intervenes with pronunciation if the student needs it
  • Oral practice: Students read aloud each passage a minimum of two times
  • Review: Programme highlights words the student mispronounces during each oral reading
  • Feedback: Programme reports words correct per minute (WCPM), the standard measure of reading fluency


Reading Assistant Plus supports Vocabulary: 

  • Increased print exposure has a direct relation to developing students’ vocabulary knowledge, because written text presents more words than readers can learn through oral language. The added reading practice that students get with Reading Assistant contributes to a student’s overall print exposure and vocabulary knowledge in a number of ways:
  • Audible syllabification
  • A Glossary Feature removes the barrier of unfamiliar words by enabling readers to click on underlined words to hear the pronunciation and dictionary at the moment the word is encountered in a passage. This approach has been shown to be one of the best ways of anchoring new vocabulary words in a student’s memory.
  • A "Did You Know?" Feature includes word background, Latin and Greek roots, other meanings or uses of words, cognates from Spanish and other languages and fun facts to develop vocabulary acquisition
  • Passages from both informational text and literature that expose students to a broad range of vocabulary words at every reading level
  • Picture representations for most words


Reading Assistant Plus helps Reading Comprehension:

  • Think About It prompts and questions support students’ larger understanding and appreciation of what they read. They direct students’ attention to meaning, message, and vocabulary in the course of reading with reading strategies such as these: using prior knowledge, identifying a purpose, predicting, making connections, visualising, monitoring and clarifying, retelling, summarising, using context clues for meaning, and asking questions
  • Quizzes after each selection assess mastery of comprehension skills such as inferences; sequence; story events; theme; character traits; figurative language; important information; compare and contrast; author’s point of view; fact and opinion; diagrams, charts, graphs; cause and effect; and main idea
  • Quiz questions assess four levels of knowledge: literal, inferential, evaluative, and analytical


Reading Assistant Plus is research based:

  • According to the report of the National Reading Panel, classroom practices that encourage repeated oral reading with feedback and guidance leads to meaningful improvements in reading expertise for students - for good readers as well as those who are experiencing difficulty
  • With Reading Assistant, the computer becomes the supportive listener that ensures all students can regularly practice oral reading while receiving immediate, individual feedback from the advanced speech recognition software

Reading Assistant Plus research is validated:


  • The impact of Reading Assistant on fluency growth was evaluated with mainstream students in classes P2-5. Half of the classrooms in two schools used the software in thirty-minute sessions, once or twice a week over 17 weeks.
  • Across all four classes, fluency gains were significantly greater for students who used the software than those who did not, averaging 43% (E.S.=0.91) greater than normative expectations over grades. Project sponsored by the Carlisle Foundation and NICHD.

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High Street


Scottish Borders


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