Making sure that the words are right

20th October 1995 at 01:00
Spell-It 3.

Software for Apple Macintosh and PCs, single user Pounds 39.95, class pack Pounds 79, site licence Pounds 245.

Ablac Learning Works Ltd, South Devon House, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ12 2BP Having worked my way through a box full of PC CD-Roms on early language topics and been generally disappointed, I found Spell-It 3 a real gem: a versatile little "talking" program which aims to improve spelling through five learning activities. Here was something I would definitely use in my classroom.

The program comes on two floppy discs and runs under Windows or Dos. It contains 3,600 commonly misspelt words, their spelling patterns and rules where relevant, then uses them in context within sentences. Included are 200 word lists in six levels of difficulty suitable for a wide range of ability. French, German and Spanish fonts are provided so that Spell-It 3 can be used for modern languages.

Word lists can be created and edited, for example to remove American spellings and grammatical irregularities and to alter pronunciation.

The activities, all based on a bayou and its inhabitants, are very enjoyable. They include a preview game, crossword puzzles and proof-reading. They can be chosen to suit individual needs, such as specific learning difficulties, or to aid assessment. The program includes record-keeping and printed lists for monitoring progress and can provide print-outs of word lists for children to take home.

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