Northwest Technology Resource Center
Review of Reading Horizons
|User Friendly||4 Stars|
|Interesting Interface||3 Stars|
|Ease of Loading Software||4 Stars|
|Overall Rating||3.6 Stars — Excellent|
Evaluation Scale: 0 = N/A, 1 = Not Recommended, 2 = Fair, 3 = Good, and 4 = Excellent
- Graphic illustrations
- Pronunciation practice
- Sequential, logical drill and practice activities via manipulation of keyboard and mouse
Vocabulary in Context
Description of Content
This interactive computer product is based on the Reading Horizons reading system. This system employs the use of explicit, sequential phonics. Students learn to blend and build from a single letter to a word and effectively learn to read and spell at their own pace.
“The program provides students with the tools necessary to continue learning on their own. Upon completion, most students can decode multi-syllabic words at an eighth grade level or beyond.”
This reviewer believes that students should not just be placed in front of the computer but should also be actively taught. Therefore, in order to be a more effective tool, the program needs to be combined with the teacher toolkits. Teachers will find the system to be very valuable, because they can teach both individually and in small groups.
Navigation and Structure
The Reading Horizons program includes 30 lessons based on the 42 Sounds of the Alphabet, Five Phonetic Skills, and Two Decoding Skills. Students listen to a human voice soundtrack as they interact with the software by manipulating the keyboard in order to break down words for reading and spelling. The Windows version of the courseware provides a Mastery, Drill, and Practice component.
“It includes decoding, vocabulary development, and reading practice. Students can hear over 2,400 words pronounced; see and hear the definition for each word, including a graphic illustration where applicable; see and hear the words used in context sentences; (and) decode the words and read them within sentences and paragraphs.”
This program can be used at a variety of levels. Nonreaders can use it to learn basic sound units for decoding purposes. ESL students truly appreciate the systematic and logical approach. The auditory component is the key. Students with learning difficulties that affect their spelling and reading will find this tool to be a great way to build a strong foundation for both. Upon completion of the program, all students will have the ability to decode higher-level words that will increase their reading comprehension level because there will be the chance for less guessing.