TESOL CALL Interest Section

Software List

Deborah Healey, Editor

Writing

Ace Reporter

Machine: Win, Mac
Publisher: Mindplay
See also Learning Services, World of Reading
Approximate single-unit price: 50
Purchase options: network, lab pack, site license
Level: Intermediate, advanced For: All but K-2
Special use: Bilingual, elementary
Description: Students read 'teletype' messages and conduct 'phone interviews' to find answers to Who, What, When, Where and Why questions. Once their stories are complete they select the best headline for the story. Now part of One-Pick Pack (English only) or Language Pack (Spanish or French), which includes Ace Detective, Ace Explorer, Ace Inquirer, Ace Reporter, Easy Street, Race the Clock Language Arts, Word Hound, and some math titles. Pay a separate fee to install each the One-Pick Pack titles.

Achieve: Writing and Language Arts

Machine: Win/Mac
Publisher: Learning Company, The
Approximate single-unit price: 25
Level: Beginning, intermediate For: 2-6
Special use: Elementary
Description: Designed to meet a third through sixth grade language arts curriculum- grammar and spelling, parts of speech and sentence structure, lsynonyms and antonyms, build vocabulary. This incorporates Word Munchers, Schoolhouse Rock/Grammar Rock, Writing Trek. Designed for native speakers, but useful for ELLs.

Business Writing

Machine: Win
Publisher: Clarity Language Consultants
Approximate single-unit price: 180
Purchase options: lab and site
Level: Intermediate, advanced For: Adult, HE
Special use: business
Description: Practice in writing for business, focusing on writing clearly and appropriately, with correct vocabulary and grammar. The program includes working on model documents, listening to short talks, podcasts, writing and formatting exercises, and writing responses to letters and email. The program links into a website with a library of model writing. Includes international English, North American English, and Indian English.

CGEA CD-ROM, The

Machine: Win
Publisher: Protea Textware
Approximate single-unit price: 95
Purchase options: home version (cheaper); lab, site
Level: Intermediate, advanced For: All but K-8
Description: Teaches and tests a wide range of skills covering all Learning Outcomes at Levels 2, 3 and 4 of the Reading and Writing, Oral Communication and Numeracy and Mathematics Streams of the Australian CGEA test. Australian English. Windows 2000, 2003, XP, Vista.

Churchill House First Certificate Program

Machine: Win
Publisher: Churchill House
Purchase options: freeware
Level: Intermediate, advanced For: All but K-6
Description: Download this free software program from http://www.churchillhouse.com/english/downloads.html to help students revise for the tricky "spot the error" question on the Cambridge First Certificate Exam (FCE). It's also suitable for intermediate and advanced students who want to work on their grammar.

Constructing the Paragraph

Machine: Mac, Win
Publisher: Computers for Education
Approximate single-unit price: freeware
Level: Intermediate For: All but K-6
Description: This program is now online and free at http://eolf.univ-fcomte.fr/index.php?page=constructing-the-paragraph. Designed to prepare upper intermediate and advanced ESL students for success in academic writing courses. The focus of the instruction is on identifying topic sentences, understanding the structure of topic sentences, the function of supporting sentences, the use of transition words and phrases, and common paragraph organization patterns in English. The example texts used in the tutorials are short and generally relevant to student interests. Online only.

Easy Writer

Machine: Win
Publisher: Software for Students
Approximate single-unit price: 100
Purchase options: lab, network, site
Level: Intermediate For: All but K-6
Description: This software was developed by an ESL teacher and features all authentic writing. It uses more than 85 essays written by ESL students in which the user has to find and correct the grammar errors. Essays range from high beginner to high intermediate. Users who want more help with grammar can access grammar help pages which will explain the rules and hyperlink to other sentences and paragraphs which exhibit the same type of error. Additional exercises and examples are in the accompanying text, "The Grammar HELP! Student Handbook," available from the author/publisher. New Easy Writer Deluxe includes audio stories as well.

Essay Express

Machine: Win/Mac
Publisher: FableVision
Approximate single-unit price: 160
Level: Intermediate For: All but K-5
Description: Interactive strategy-based exercises with stories, humor, and music (a dysfunctional rock band) to teach students how to structure a short essay. This includes an interactive notebook, student performance tracking system, and option for customizable teacher essay questions. The website offers many lesson plan extension activities, reproducibles and additional bonus multimedia materials. 30-day free trial available. Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/Vista; Mac OS 8.6, 9, and OSX.

Expressways

Machine: Win/Mac
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Approximate single-unit price: 5
Level: Intermediate, advanced For: All but K-8
Description: 14 modules on paragraph- and essay-writing that cover how to write a topic sentence, develop and arrange details, and use sources in addition to different rhetorical styles from process paragraphs to persuasive essays.

Hollywood

Machine: Win/Mac
Publisher: Tom Snyder Productions
Approximate single-unit price: 40
Purchase options: lab, network
Level: Beginning, intermediate, advanced, teacher For: All
Description: A creative writing CD-ROM, which lets you or your students write, direct, and play your own animated shows with talking characters. You select the scene, you direct the actors, you write the dialogue, you choose the music and special effects. You can screen it in the theater by clicking on the projector. There's even an Idea Machine which provides story starters, plot twists, and dialogue suggestions based on the scene you've chosen and the specific personalities of your characters. Uses computerized voices; sometimes you have to fiddle with spelling to get them to sound right. (SA) Formerly sold by Theatrix, it is good to see this title reappear. Windows 2000/XP; Mac OS 9.

Hollywood High

Machine: Win/Mac
Publisher: Tom Snyder Productions
Approximate single-unit price: 40
Purchase options: lab, network
Level: Beginning, intermediate, advanced, teacher For: All
Description: Like its predecessor Hollywood, Hollywood High has students write and direct an animated show with talking characters. The settings and characters are high school-oriented, so this is more attractive to teens but less useful for adults than Hollywood. Students select the scene and characters, place and move the actors, write the dialogue, and choose the special effects. Because it uses synthesized rather than digitized voices, they can be odd. It's possible to tweak the spelling to improve the pronunciation, but the point of this is the dialogue among the learners creating the show, not the end result itself. This is not recommended as a listening skill builder, but it's a great tool for discussion at the computer. CD-ROM. Formerly sold by Theatrix, it is good to see this title reappear.

How to Write for Everyday Living

Machine: Win, Mac
Publisher: Educational Activities Software
Approximate single-unit price: 160
Purchase options: lab, network
Level: Intermediate For: Adult
Description: Topics include writing skills for resumes, employment forms, business letters, lists, memos, social security applications, bank account applications, and driver's licenses. Some voice instructions. Also offers an Internet link to useful websites. CD-ROM. Windows 98/NT/2000/XP: Mac OS 8 or OS 9.

Inspiration

Machine: Mac, Win
Publisher: Inspiration Software
See also Alta ESL
Approximate single-unit price: 70
Purchase options: $195 site license
Level: Advanced For: All but K-6
Description: A pre-writing program that allows students to organize and arrange ideas in outline or diagram form. Useful for making flow charts to show the logical progression of ideas. Most frequently used for concept mapping and story webbing. Educational discounts available. Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT 4.0, ME or XP (including Tablet PC Edition), Vista; Mac OS X.

Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing!

Machine: Mac/Win
Publisher: Learning Company, The
See also online/mail order
Approximate single-unit price: 40
Level: Intermediate, advanced For: All but K-6
Description: This typing program offers a step-by-step tutorial (written for native speakers, so not very useful by beginners or intermediate level students without a teacher's help getting started), record-keeping so that learners can start up again where they left off, and game options for further practice. The road race typing game is very popular with some learners. Sometimes sold bundled with Correct Grammar by mail order vendors.

Paragraph Punch

Machine: Win
Publisher: Merit Audio Visual
Approximate single-unit price: 45
Purchase options: lab, network, site
Level: Intermediate, advanced For: All but K-6
Description: Learners choose from a menu of topics to develop an idea and write their own topic sentence, body, and conclusion. Sections include cause and effect, reasons, details, examples, and sequencing. Designed for native speakers but usable for ESL. Record-keeping. Windows 95/98/2000/XP; not verified for Vista. A demo is available from the website, http://www.meritsoftware.com/.

Print Shop Deluxe

Machine: Mac, Win
Publisher: Learning Company, The
See also online/mail order
Approximate single-unit price: 25
Purchase options: lab, network, site, teacher's ed.
Level: Beginning, intermediate, advanced, teacher For: All
Description: This computer tool is very useful in enabling students to complete such tasks as creating greeting cards, signs, personalized letterhead stationary, banners and calendars. The program comes with lots of interesting pre-made graphics which students can use in the creation of their projects. The new Print Shop Deluxe edition on CD-ROM adds the following capabilities to the previous editions: scalable graphics; color printing; TrueType fonts (which can also be scaled without losing any quality); new styles of ready-made graphics to serve as backgrounds for individual letters or as a border for a whole side of a text; special pre-made headline texts; 'rich text,' which allows users to change fonts, styles, sizes and colors within individual words; a new utility to export Print Shop Deluxe graphics to other programs; and a layout program to facilitate creative mixing of text and graphics. Sold online/mail order only. Check product requirements carefully to be sure the version you are buying matches your equipment. Windows 3.1 to Windows Vista; Mac OS 7-9, depending on the version.

Sound-Write

Machine: Win
Publisher: American Literacy Council
Purchase options: free for use on 1 workstation
Level: Literacy, beginning, intermediate For: All
Special use: Literacy
Description: Sound-Write corrects spelling errors on the spot while simultaneously letting the pupil hear what he/she spelled. Includes a 50,000 word vocabulary, implicit help with homonyms, simple 'language experience' queries, and secret tracking of the user's nonstandard spelling. The DECTalk Speech engine from Fonix Corp is included. It provides a human voice that says words in real time, spells them aloud, and reads sentences after they're typed. Demo or full versions can be downloaded from http://www.americanliteracy.com/SW/sound-write.htm - free for use on a single workstation. The previous version was called Spell-Well.

Spanish English Education Resources (SEER)

Machine: Win
Publisher: SEER Education Corporation
Approximate single-unit price: 300
Purchase options: annual subscription, lab, site
Level: Intermediate, advanced For: All but K-6
Special use: bilingual
Description: Digital English Spanish dictionary including synonyms, verb conjugations and idiomatic expressions, and an interactive computer-aided translator (ICAT). SEER helps students develop and improve full English Spanish bilingualism. Download a trial copy at the website, http://www.seeredu.com/self.html.

Spelling Depot

Machine: Mac
Publisher: Class One Software
Approximate single-unit price: 20
Purchase options: lab pack
Level: Beginning, intermediate For: All
Description: Formerly known as Spell Tutor. Spelling lists can be generated within the program or imported from a text document. Each word can include a definition. After taking a spelling test within the program, words missed by the student are added to the student's Personal Word Bank. This Bank includes words from all lists on which the student has tested. The student can re-take these words at any time. In addition to the spelling module, Spelling Depot contains 3 word games which use the words from the spelling lists. A demo is available from the website at http://www.classonesoftware.com/pages/SDP.html. Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista; Mac OS X.

Storybook Weaver

Machine: Mac/Win
Publisher: Learning Company, The
See also Smart Kids Software, Learning Services, Amazon.com
Approximate single-unit price: 25
Purchase options: lab pack, site license
Level: Literacy, beginning, intermediate For: K-6
Special use: literacy, bilingual, elementary
Description: A creative tool for kids to write and illustrate their own storybook. Students can choose from hundreds of images and scenery combinations, plus a variety of borders and type styles. They can also add sounds and music to their stories. Story Book Weaver Deluxe on CD offers more graphics and animation, spoken word narration, and both English and Spanish writing capabilities. The disk version is slightly less expensive. MECC titles are now sold by Learning Company School.

Switch

Machine: Win
Publisher: Higgins, John and Muriel
Level: Intermediate, teacher For: All
Description: Switch shows you a short text with variant readings. These can be grammar choices (active v. passive or different forms of future), style choices (formal/informal, British/US), or literary (what did Swift or Jane Austen actually write?). Free download from http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/wordscape/software-new.htm.

Text Machine, The

Machine: Win
Publisher: Text Machine
Approximate single-unit price: 50
Purchase options: lab, site
Level: Intermediate, advanced For: All
Description: Software that makes it easier to correct student essays. The teacher imports the essay into the program's database, then goes through the essay. After the teacher clicks on the type of error from a list, the software marks the error and automatically inserts a mini-tutorial into the endnotes. Because all of the papers are stored in a database, it is possible to gather data across student papers. Windows XP, Vista.

ThoughtOffice

Machine: Mac, Win
Publisher: ThoughtOffice Systems
Approximate single-unit price: 150
Purchase options: network, site license
Level: Beginning, intermediate, advanced, teacher For: All but K-6
Description: Now known as ThoughtOffice, this is an upgrade of the original IdeaFisher. An idea generator and outliner with a very large database of ideas and suggestions to link up with prompts. This includes words and associations and keyword-tagged image associations to help develop ideas. Also included are eXpertTopic Modules with set-ups, questions, images, links and references. Windows XP/Vista; Mac OS X.

Type to Learn

Machine: Win/Mac
Publisher: Sunburst Technology
See also online/mail order
Approximate single-unit price: 30
Purchase options: lab, network, school
Level: Beginning, intermediate For: All
Description: A typing program recommended for beginning typists, used at the University of Kansas. Complete keyboarding course that includes spelling, grammar, composition, and punctuation work. Two reading levels. Designed for native speakers. Available on CD-ROM or download.

Ultimate Writing and Creativity Center

Machine: Mac/Win
Publisher: Riverdeep
Approximate single-unit price: 30
Purchase options: network, site license
Level: Beginning, intermediate, advanced For: K-6
Special use: Elementary
Description: Word-processor with graphics, sound, and animation add-ons. An interactive cartoon character prompts students through the prewriting process. Best for children, due to the nature of the graphics included. Comes on CD-ROM. Available through mail order. Check to be sure the version you are buying will work on your equipment.

Wordsmith Tools

Machine: Win
Publisher: Lexical Software Analysis
Approximate single-unit price: 85
Purchase options: £50; earlier versions free
Level: Intermediate, advanced For: All
Description: Integrated suite of programs for looking at how words behave in texts. WordList shows a list of all the words in a text, set out in alphabetical or frequency order. Concordancer shows any word or phrase in context, and KeyWords finds the key words in a text. Various smaller tools and extensive on-line help also included. Download from http://www.lexically.net/wordsmith/. The demo version with a restricted output is free. Earlier versions can also be downloaded for free from the same website.

Write On Plus: Spanish/English Literacy Skills

Machine: Win/Mac
Publisher: Sunburst Technology
Approximate single-unit price: 50
Purchase options: lab, network, school
Level: Literacy, beginning For: K-6
Special use: Literacy, elementary
Description: CD-ROM based writing activities in both Spanish and English versions. Topics include English for You; My First Sentences; Class Journals; Chant, Chant, Chant; Poetry for Young Poets; The Me Disk I, Sentence Writing I, Sentence Combining with Aesop; Sentences to Paragraphs I.

WriteExpress Easy Letters

Machine: Win
Publisher: WriteExpress
Approximate single-unit price: 25
Level: Intermediate, advanced For: All but K-6
Special use: business
Description: Designed for native speakers, this CD-ROM offers expert advice, step by step instructions, and sample sentences for writing business and personal letters on more than 500 topics. Includes over 2000 sample letters. A demo can be downloaded from http://www.WriteExpress.com/download.html. Works with Windows Vista, XP, 2000, 98, 95, Me and NT word processors and installs on the Add-Ins tab of Word 2007 and the Tools Menu of Microsoft Word 2003, 2002, 2000, 97, and Word 7.0. The Macintosh version may be used with Word via the clipboard.

WriteExpress: Rhymer & Phonetic Finder

Machine: Win/Mac
Publisher: WriteExpress
Approximate single-unit price: 25
Level: Intermediate For: All
Description: Playing with words. Designed for native speakers. CD-ROM. An online demo is available at http://www.WriteExpress.com/rhymer.html. Works directly with Microsoft Word 2007 and the Tools Menu of Word 2003, 2002, 2000, 97, and Word 7.0. Click a button to insert rhyming words directly into your document. If you have a Macintosh or a different Windows word processor, you can still run the program by itself and copy and paste words into your document.

Writing Process Workshop

Machine: Mac/Win
Publisher: Educational Activities Software
Approximate single-unit price: 250
Purchase options: lab, network
Level: Intermediate, advanced For: All but K-3
Description: A prompted writing program with pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading exercises. The four domains: persuasive writing, report on information/observation, autobiography, and evaluation can be purchased separately or as a complete series. Separate domains are $70 each. CD-ROM. Windows 98/NT/2000/XP: Mac OS 8 or OS 9.


http://www.eltexpert.com/softlist/callwriting.html
Last updated 25 May 2009 by Deborah Healey, dhealey at uoregon dot edu
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