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Archive for the ‘Prediction’ Category


A significant benefit of Penfriend is that you can start using it without any prior knowledge – “it works straight out of the box” as one happy customer recently commented.

This tutorial explains how you can start improving spelling and grammar by simply starting Penfriend – without making any adjustments.

To view the complete list of video tutorials select this link.

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What is a homophone?

Homophones, sometimes known as ‘confusables’ are words which have a similar sound but differ in spelling and meaning. Examples of homophones include ‘there’ and ‘their’, ‘where’ and ‘were’ and so on.

With over 400 homophones in the English language, similar sounding words add depth to a language but they can also be the cause of great frustration. Spell checkers can’t even be relied upon where these troublesome homophones are concerned.

How can Penfriend provide support with homophones?

The problem with most homophones is that if you’re typing too quickly or not paying close attention to what you’re writing, you could accidently end up with a properly spelled word, except it’s the wrong word. Confusables are often highlighted by dyslexic people as a source of annoyance and confusion.

With Penfriend’s new option ‘Confusable word hints’ (go to View and Preferences) you can now see and even hear the difference between confusable words, so there’s no excuse to get ‘pair’ and ‘pear’ or ‘bear’ and ‘bare’ mixed up anymore.

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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Using Penfriend’s Screen Reading with Word’s Look Up, Synonyms and Spell Checking features

This tutorial explores the powerful screen reading feature in Penfriend. Penfriend’s screen reader will read out dictionary definitions and synonyms in Microsoft Word without any additional expense – no need to buy 3rd party software.

The tutorial also explores how the screen reading feature can support spell checking with audio feedback.


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 »


Penfriend supporting young people with dyslexia – a case study

As well as the diverse case studies and user comments on the Penfriend website  which highlight the benefits of Penfriend, we also have new exciting video case studies; one which explores a Penfriend user, Christopher, and the other, Christopher’s mum, Monica. Both have an interesting story to tell.

Christopher who is dyslexic, talks openly about how Penfriend has improved his school work, giving him confidence to write and spell longer complicated words. Using Penfriend XL Version 4 Portable, Christopher is able to use Penfriend both at home and at school, giving him consistency with his learning.

From a parent’s perspective Penfriend has proved to be very beneficial. Monica explains how Penfriend has boosted Christopher’s confidence providing the much needed scaffolding and support that children with dyslexia sometimes need.

To view their stories, view the video case studies below.

Christopher’s story…

Monica’s story…


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 »


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!

Read Full Post »


New guides to help with Penfriend

Last week we received some excellent high frequency word lists from Andrew Lysley at the Ace Centre that are available for you to download and use.

This week, thanks to Maudie Riley, Support for Learning at the Education Centre in Dingwall, we have some new informative guides on setting up Penfriend and maintaining lexicons.

Easy-to-follow guides

Maudie provides succinct and easy-to-follow guides on setting up Penfriend and lexicon maintenance for learners, particularly those learners who have spelling difficulties and require customised lexicons. Moreover, Maudie also explains how it is possible to add word lists to create new lexicons, ban words to delete misspellings and to monitor and track wrongly spelled words.

As Penfriend continues to develop its bank of resources, led by you the community, we welcome further contributions – keep them coming!

Download the Resources

To guides are in PDF format. To download the guides ‘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.

Download the Penfriend Initial Setup Guide

Download the Penfriend Maintaining Lexicon Guide


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 »


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!

Read Full Post »

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