I had a free trial of Reading Horizons over the summer and used it with a mixed class of literacy students. I like Reading Horizons very much, and saw impressive gains from my students in only 5 weeks. I have been through the EBRI training, and I spoke with Steve Dolainski about the program, because I find that the assessment correlations are closely aligned to those of EBRI, and I thought it would be a good support/supplemental program for EBRI.
Very good features include the fact that the program’s range is 0-13, with a very comprehensive decoding program for non-literate or pre-literate students, which progresses into an ABE/ASE program using the vocabulary learned. It’s a thinking/branching program, so it gives the teacher/administrator immediate live time results, which can also help a teacher to group students for pull-outs. Most impressive is that the command languages can be set to the student population, so that a pre-literate student can get verbal instructions in their own language. I had one of my students burst into tears when she realized that the program was speaking to her in Haitian-Creole.
My students (a fragile group by any standards) were totally engaged, and really motivated by the immediate feedback of having mastered a lesson, and being able to track their progress. I think the program also has the capacity to hit the ‘almost’ CAHSEE population, of students with reading levels 7.0-9.0, and well as really help transitioning ESL students. A number of my students were also adults with undiagnosed learning disabilities, such as dyslexia and auditory processing problems, and they seemed to make progress as well.