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Academic Paper

Title: Why, How and for Whom We Need Talking Word Processors
Paper URL:
Author: William Peet
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Interest-Driven Learning, Inc.
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Language Acquisition
Abstract: Research has shown novice writers of all abilities teach themselves basic writing skills as they learn to communicate in print using talking word processors. /L//L//L/The difference between talking and non-talking word processors/L/While a non-talking word processor gives a child the ability to increase writing skills through its great ease of editing, versus typewriters or pen/pencil tools, editing is a higher level skill than basic word construction. To get the greatest benefit from using a non-talking word processor, the learner must already know something about the written language: how words are spelled and how sentences are put together. Therefore non-talking word processors are most often used by students in the upper elementary grades, as a way to make their writing products neater in appearance and clearer in message./L//L/The talking word processor, on the other hand, allows learners to construct words from scratch, so to speak. The learner types a letter and the computer not only places the letter on the computer screen, but says the letter out loud. When several letters are typed together and the spacebar is pushed, the computer tries to turn that sequence of letters into a word. A learner can experiment with the written language with such a tool. It is possible for individuals to create their own unique intrinsic understanding of the system of the written language through such experimentation. /L//L/Auditorily 'constructing words from scratch' with a talking word processor is an excellent example of a learning process referred to by some researchers as "informal learning," (educators Charles Wedemeyer, et. al.), by others as "self-discovered learning" (psychologist Carl Rogers's term), and in my work since 1983 as "interest-driven learning." Through the continued experimentation with word formation using an appropriate talking word processor, very young children can continue the natural acquisition of their native language without interruption, moving under their own intitiative first through comprehension, then production of the spoken language, and then, without even stopping to think about what they are doing or being directly taught in any set curriculum, right into writing and reading the words and sentences of their spoken language.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Venue: Center on Disabilities, California State University, Northridge
Publication Info: Presented at the Tenth Annual International Conference:

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