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Archive for the ‘Lexicons’ Category


You could win a Penfriend XL Portable in our prize draw.

Penfriend Portable Penfriend is loved and used by thousands of people the world over. While we celebrate the fact that Penfriend has changed the lives of so many people by helping to overcome barriers, create independent and confident learners, we are not complacent and we won’t rest on our laurels!

Here at Penfriend we are always looking at ways in which we can continue to improve Penfriend, by making it more user friendly, easier to use while increasing its powerful features.

So we’re asking you, our customers to help us make improvements. It’s your chance to have your say. What it is you like about Penfriend? What do you use if for? Are there any specific features that you use? How does it help you? And how do you think we can make it even better?

To help us improve Penfriend please complete our online survey. It will only take a few of minutes of your time. The most interesting submission will win a Penfriend XL Portable.

Good luck!

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Penfriend prediction windows

Using Drag and Drop Lexicons in Penfriend

The following video screencast tutorial shows you how to save a personalised lexicon which can be used in different contexts, such as colour background, speech or a lexicon which contains a specific word list.

Easy-to-use and Accessible

With Penfriend it couldn’t be easier to change the lexicon you want. Penfriend’s easy-to-use interface makes is user friendly and very accessible.

Tutorial

As this tutorial shows, it’s just a case of selecting the lexicons you want to use then simply drag and drop each lexicon into the Prediction window.

I’ve used Penfriend NA with the Katherine (East Coast America) voice to demonstrate but as you will see, you can change the style of voice by simply changing the lexicon.

As well as Penfriend NA, Penfriend is available in French, German, Spanish, Swedish, Italian, Portuguese as well as UK English and Scottish Gaelic.


Get in touch

Visit the Penfriend website to download the latest versions of Penfriend.

We also have some new exciting products in the pipeline – so keep checking the blog to find out more or alternatively follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.

And don’t forget, the Penfriend blog looks great on the iPad!

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Penfriend’s powerful Screen Reader

Penfriend features a powerful screen reading option which reads text in documents and other Windows applications such as email, web pages etc. When the mouse is placed or hovered over text, icons or menus Penfriend will read the information back to the user.

Although Penfriend’s Screen Reader is a very empowering tool, when combined with the Clipboard Reader and set up to meet individual needs, Penfriend can be extended into a tool that can benefit users with a visual difficulty.

Video tutorial

The following video tutorial explores how Penfriend can be set up to read text and other elements using the Screen Reader, the Clipboard Reader in combination with a high contrast viewing style.

Save your lexicon

If you would like to try this out for yourself, remember to select ‘File’ and ‘Save Lexicon’ or ‘Save As’ to save your settings.  This means that you only need to set your preferences once as Penfriend will automatically save your personal settings including the words in the lexicon.


Get in touch

Visit the Penfriend website to download the latest versions of Penfriend.

We also have some new exciting products in the pipeline – so keep checking the blog to find out more or alternatively follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.

And don’t forget, the Penfriend blog looks great on the iPad!

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Penfriend would like to thank Andrew Lysley at the Ace Centre for kindly allowing us to use and distribute five high frequency word lexicons.

Emergent literacy

The lexicons are high frequency core wordlists that primary schools teach children to support emerging and developing literacy, in particular language, vocabulary and word syntax. The lexicons are designed to support children at Key Stage 1 & 2 (in England) and Primary 1 – 3 in Scotland.

Developing word relationships

Autumn landscapeAndrew suggests that the best way to use the lexicons would be to add keywords associated to the wordlists. For example, as we head into autumn keywords could revolve around ‘harvest’ in which case a teacher or teaching assistant would take one of the core wordlists, save it as ‘en.kids core reception words plus harvest words’ and then add keywords associated with harvest time, e.g., harvest, fruit, corn, pick, apples, pears, leaves etc.

For those children who are working with developmentally (or chronologically) older children, the wordlists can be taken to a higher level with more complex, richer and topic vocabulary; gather, wheat, maize, festival etc.

Download the lexicons

To download a lexicon ‘right click’ on each of the download links and choose ‘save as target’ then simply save the lexicon to the desktop or a location of your choice.

To load the lexicon into Penfriend either drag and drop the lexicon into Penfriend’s Prediction window or select ‘File’ and ‘Open Lexicon’.

en.kids.reception high frequency words

en.kids.reception and years 1 and 2 high frequency words

en.kids.reception and years 1 2 3 4 high frequency words

en.kids.reception and years 1 2 3 4 5 high frequency words


Get in touch

Visit the Penfriend website to download the latest versions of Penfriend.

We also have some new exciting products in the pipeline – so keep checking the blog to find out more or alternatively follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.

And don’t forget, the Penfriend blog looks great on the iPad!

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Get online with Penfriend!

As well as standard word processors and text editors such as Microsoft Word, Wordpad and Notepad, Penfriend will also work alongside online word processors and text editors, in particular Google Docs, Microsoft SkyDrive, Twitter and Facebook.

Social Media logos

Penfriend will work alongside online apps and social networking sites

So if you want to get in touch with friends via Facebook, or post a tweat on Twitter or even share a Google or SkyDrive document, then Penfriend will make the process so much more easier, particularly if you have dyslexia or a motor difficulty and find typing difficult of impossible to do.

This short video highlights how Penfriend can work alongside a range of online applications.

Get in touch

Visit the Penfriend website to download the latest versions of Penfriend.

We also have some new exciting products in the pipeline – so keep checking the blog to find out more or alternatively follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.

And don’t forget, the Penfriend blog looks great on the iPad!

Read Full Post »


At Penfriend we often receive testimonials about how some of the great features in Penfriend can overcome barriers to learning. Thanks to Chris and the teacher for these great examples:

From Chris Goddard, Training and Development Manager, Bristol’s Disabled Living Centre
“This is a remarkably sophisticated program for a mere £120, offering a powerful screen reader, text magnification and onscreen keyboard – all this in nine major European languages…

Penfriend is a comprehensive literacy aid which can boost confidence and increase reading and writing skills across the age and ability range and should be a mandatory purchase for any school and resource centre”

The Clipboard is a powerful feature in Penfriend to support reading.

Penfriend's Clipboard with text-to-speech support.

From a Secondary Teacher, Scotland.

“R is finally sitting his Standard Grade English next week and has opted to use (Penfriend) XL as the lexicon is much more appropriate, …. he is impressed with the improvements you have made.”

Two months later.

R got a grade 1! He is sitting Higher English this year, using Penfriend, but obviously needs the bigger lexicon that XL provides.

One of the good things about his exam result is that the younger boys in the school who are using Penfriend can now see that their dyslexia does not need to be a barrier to achievement, and it has really motivated them to stick in and persevere with the software.

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An example of Penfriend predicting words.Did you know that you can create and use customised lexicon or word list in Penfriend? Say for example you’re writing a school project about Roman or Greek history and you need words which are related to the subject, you can create a specific list of words which will appear in Penfriend’s prediction window.

What if you wanted to write a letter or send an email to a friend or a relative to tell them about your home town, a hobby or something that interests you but you find it difficult to type? Then Penfriend can help!

Penfriend helps to speed up writing by cutting down the number of keystrokes needed to write a document and, by creating different lexicons or word lists, you can type quicker and more accurately.

Watch the video tutorial below to find out more.

To find out more and download a trial version of Penfriend visit out website.

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