Wordspeller is a phonetic dictionary app that allows users to input the first few sounds of a word. The app will try to find words that have similar sounds even if they are not spelled in the same way. Users are provided with a list of possible words, homonyms, and even other similar words. Each word has a definition, as well as possible prefixes and suffixes that could change the spelling or form of the word.
Requires no internet connection for use
Provides lists of similar words that users might be searching for
Includes spellings of homonyms and other similar words
Includes spellings of all possible forms of root with affixes
Helps users choose between easily-confused words like metal and medal
Wordspeller is a very high quality app. The interface is simple to use and offers a lot of support for individuals with spelling disabilities, those with memory problems, and those who are learning English. The app also will accommodate Spanish-speaking users by accepting Spanish phonetic spellings and offering English possibilities for translation. The developers give simple written directions for use on the opening screen, and then users can input phonetic spellings of words they are uncertain about and get a list of words that they might be considering. Correctly spelled words in the list are colored black, and phonetic spellings are colored purple. One consideration for improvement would be to add some optional voiced screen reading, especially to the introduction/instruction page. Since the app is designed for persons who have difficulty reading or reading English, users may not be able to effectively access the directions in that way.
This app could be invaluable to the target audiences. Anyone who has difficulty with spelling English for any reason can now access dictionary entries and get spelling and translation help. Special education students, those with dyslexia, and other situations that make spelling challenging no longer need to struggle to get a word close enough to the real spelling to register properly on spell-check systems. ESL students and teachers can use the app to improve spelling and vocabulary as well.
One nice feature is that the app often returns multiple words in the results. This creates the perfect opportunity to learn the differences in spelling and usage for confusing sets of words such as meddle, mettle, metal and medal or they’re, their, and there. The entries also include acceptable forms of the root word with prefixes and suffixes, so users can see how to spell various inflections.
This app is not intended to be entertaining.
This app costs $2.99 on the App Store, and 99 cents on Google Play. I am not sure of the differences between the versions but no matter what, this is a great value. Poor spelling can decidedly diminish the quality of any written communication, and can even cause people in the audience to dramatically lower their opinion of the writer’s skills and abilities. Traditional spell-checking and dictionary systems rely on users having at least the first few letters of a word correct, but this app allows for phonetic spelling, which is a much more useful system.
This app is 100% child friendly. There is no connection to the internet at all, no advertisements, no in-app purchases or other means for children to gain unauthorized access.
Word Speller is an outstandingly useful app that will quickly become indispensable for anyone who struggles with spelling in English. The app will be very useful to special needs persons, to ESL students, and to anyone who simply never got the hang of spelling.