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LEARN TO READ--AND SAY THE WORDS RIGHT

FOR YEARS, SOFTWARE MAKERS have sold programs designed to help kids learn to read. But Donna Stanger always felt something was missing: the ability to let children know if they're using the correct pronunciation for a word or letter. In February, Stanger, general manager of educational software maker Edmark Corp., got the chance to change that when new owner IBM gave her a peek at what was in its labs.

In October, Edmark will have on store shelves the first reading program to use speech recognition. Let's Go Read! An Island Adventure, is designed for children aged 4 to 6. Kids listen to the sound of a letter ''e,'' for example, and then repeat it into a microphone, which is attached to a baseball cap the child wears. If the pronunciation is wrong, the program encourages the user to try again. If it's correct, the children hear their own voices saying the letter. In addition to the alphabet, the program has a 400-word vocabulary. The software works with any 486-based PC, but you'll need a Pentium 90-Mhz class machine or better to use the speech capability. The package will have a retail price between $39 and $44.

Ira Sager
EDITED BY PETER ELSTROM


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Updated Sept. 25, 1997 by bwwebmaster
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