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Need an online reading tutor? How A.I. is helping reading fluency and comprehension

June 26, 2022

Thanks to the ever-present internet, it’s easier than ever to find an online reading tutor. How else can technology help those that struggle with reading? A.I has come a long way, can it be used to help achieve reading fluency?

What is reading fluency anyway?

Reading fluency refers to how easy a students finds reading. Fluent readers read more quickly and with automaticity in word recognition (that is, they find it easy to recognise words) . They enjoy reading more than students who have to decode every word. Fluent readers can devote their available cognitive energy to comprehending what they are reading rather than using all their mental energy on word recognition.

Why do some students need an online reading tutor?

reading assistant online reading tutor

Some students develop reading fluency naturally and intuitively while others approach each word as though it’s the first time they’ve ever seen the word.

These students require explicit reading fluency training – they need direct instruction and feedback to become fluent.

As Dr Sally Shaywitz from the Yale University Centre for Dyslexia and Creativity explains below, the most effective way to build fluency, and in turn comprehension, is with “guided repeated oral reading” where a student reads orally with guidance and feedback from a patient coach or an online reading tutor:

”….I urge parents of dyslexic children to make fluency training – repeated oral reading – their number one priority. Because it involves reinforcement rather than teaching a child a new concept, it is ideally suited for the home. Fluency training is something all parents can do for their child. It requires little time and minimal expertise, and it invariably works. You can read fiction, poetry, plans, and even single words or use commercial programs. In doing so you are training your child’s brain and helping build the accurate word models and the word form reading system necessary for quick and accurate reading. There are very few activities for the dyslexic reader that provide as much improvement for the amount of time spent as does guided repeated oral reading.”

Overcoming Dyslexia, chapter 19: Teaching the Dyslexic Child to Read.

Can I teach my child how to read fluently myself, or should I hire an online reading tutor?

When a child is struggling to develop reading fluency, parents often find it difficult to engage their child in oral reading activities.

Reading practice is laborious and frustrating for children who struggle with phonics, decoding, spelling and vocabulary, and can lead to anxiety and learned helplessness.

It would be fantastic if every parent had the time to explicitly teach their child how to read fluently.

In reality, parents may lack the time or the teaching skills required. Hiring an experienced online reading tutor would solve the issue; but what parent could afford a reading tutor every day of the week to help their child make real progress?

reading assistant online reading tutor

The online reading tutor program that uses A.I.

This is where A.I. shines. 

The Reading Assistant program, as discussed by Dr Shaywitz in her book Overcoming Dyslexia, uses artificial intelligence to offer parents and educators a novel way to provide students with guided repeated oral reading practice.

It is an online personal, interactive reading tutor. Using cutting-edge voice recognition technology, Reading Assistant actually “listens” to you read. 

If you get stuck, Reading Assistant intervenes by saying the word correctly, providing help at the very moment when it’s most effective.

Reading Assistant online reading tutor online learning programs

How Reading Assistant is unlike any other reading program

  • Students participate in engaging computer-based exercises that require them to read out loud a range of interesting and age-appropriate stories.
  • State of the art speech recognition technology enables the program to listen to the student’s oral reading and intervene to provide assistance when they struggle to decode a word.
  • After reading the text, students are asked to answer a series of direct and inferential comprehension questions to keep them engaged and reading for meaning.

Call Sonic Learning’s team of health and education professionals on 1300 135 334 or email info@soniclearning.com.au to discuss how your child can benefit from the Reading Assistant program.

Learn more & contact us

reading assistant online reading tutor

Find out more about Reading Assistant

Watch a demo video, read the research, and find out how Reading Assistant helps to achieve reading fluency. 

Reading Assistant Info pack

Reading Assistant info pack

Everything you need to know about Reading Assistant in one easy package.

Book a free phone consult

This free telephone consultation can help to answer any questions you have about our services. At Sonic Learning we are all experienced teachers and health professionals so parents tend to find it very beneficial to be able to discuss their concerns and receive guidance from our team.

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