Literacy is a major concern, even in developed societies. Some students drop out of school to join the labor force before they can read properly. Others were pushed through the school system without getting the help they needed. Others are new to the country and have previously lived in a society that did not have a written language or universal access to education. So how can technology help people who can't read or need to learn to read better? Let this article be your guide.

When people think of e-books, they think of computer versions of paperback novels designed to be read on readers like the Kobo or on a computer screen. But those are not the only kind of electronic book. There are e-books designed for people who have no knowledge of reading at all, whether they're old or young. There are dedicated learn to read devices like the LeapPad as well as software for computers and tablets. Either method might be of help to someone doing their homework for ESL Toronto.

These e-learning devices work by introducing images and interactivity into the process of reading so that new readers can learn to identify words and sounds with objects and concepts they see every day in real life. For instance the LeapPad might have a picture next to the word, or have a special pen that reads the word aloud when touched to the text. This feature is especially helpful for people who can already speak the language but cannot read it. These learning books come in many levels, from the most basic See Spot Run texts to more involved stories.

For those who are just learning to read in a new language, the software and game based e-reading systems are more helpful than the read-aloud books, and the robotic packaging of the devices can help hide the fact that the user can't read. With these programs, text in the user's home language can appear alongside the English text when reading, and there are also games and quizzes that help with word retention and understanding.

Even the average e-book reader, like the Aluratek Libre or the Sony E-Reader, can help a person who wants to work but whose reading level is not yet up to snuff. They accomplish this by allowing the user to listen to Mp3 files simultaneously with reading the e-book. By downloading the unabridged audiobook, the user can follow along on the print version, much like a reading exercise in school. This method reduces embarrassment in public situations, because with the headphones in, the user would look like he or she was listening to music while reading.

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