Recently, I encouraged my 50 year old adult literacy student to make an investment in his reading education with the Franklin SCD-1870 Speaking 11th Collegiate Dictionary. The problem that he faced was that while he was experiencing tremendous results in our tutoring sessions, there were times when he needed to read work documents or the newspaper and he simply didn't have the vocabulary or phonics skills to sound out tough words. Since I couldn't be with him all the time or even available via fax, I thought the speaking dictionary would empower him to work through these challenges himself.
My student claims the device works very well and it's easy to use. He never leaves home without it! We spent a couple sessions using it while I tutored him so that he would be able to use all of the important features, but I soon discovered he had found the word games, especially Hangman, and he started to associate practicing spelling with fun. What an excellent win-win!
This particular device is a little hard to find and it's a little expensive (he paid $65 used), but there are a number of excellent speaking dictionaries out there. One excellent feature of this device is that you can set it up to play games with SAT words. This feature makes this another tool students can use to post up outstanding SAT verbal scores. Let's face it...if you don't know the words to study, they have to come from somewhere. At least this device makes learning the new words more fun.