Word Shark

Published by White Space

Wordshark is a computer program loved by learning support teachers and their students. It combines the excitement of computer games with the serious task of learning to read and spell.

Available from East West Computers. www.east-west.com.au

Wordshark 4.08 now has 55 different games and 9000 pre-recorded words and sounds arranged over 6 alternative courses using sound, graphics and text in a multi-sensory approach1 to practice word recognition and spelling. The games and pre-recorded words have been targeted to assist those with specific learning difficulties (Dyslexia), but many teachers have found the program to be very useful for general literacy training2,3, with an increasing number of schools installing network versions for whole classroom training.

The games provide high motivation and interest, with each game helping with one or more aspects of reading and spelling. Games are included to emphasise rules for suffixes, plurals, syllable division, dictionary skills and word shapes.

The Structured Courses:

  • Early Years/Intervention -
    • Letters & Sounds - support for the latest UK government phonics programme
    • A short phonics course to support different phonics schemes with a choice of the order in which letters are introduced
  • General Use - Three structured courses with 6,000 words which include spelling & reading, using phonemes, words & sentences
    • Alpha to Omega - following the structure of the book Alpha to Omega, by Beve Hornsby, Frula Shear and Julie Pool, ed. (and author), 5th RevEd., 1999, Heinemann
    • Literacy hour - The UK government?s earlier framework
    • General course - for older users/students
  • Secondary - 3000 extra words and relevant sentences recorded in 13 curriculum subjects for secondary schools

You can easily add your own words for learners to practice and the program keeps student records too. The new say word games withinReading games are best used with a high quality noise-cancelling microphone and/or headset.