March 2013: Removing Barriers for Struggling Readers with netTrekker

View Webinar Recording.

Struggling readers need tools that engage them in the text and aide in comprehension. netTrekker Search features can do just that: by providing text to speech support, by providing definitions of words in context, and by giving educators opportunities to deliver resources to readers that are in their reading “sweet spot.” Help your students “Tame the Wild Text” (Susan Allen) with some of the approaches we share here…

Removing the reliance on one or two types of reading material

Count on netTrekker Search to enable you to offer a wide range of materials and information so that your struggling readers will have opportunities to learn from a variety of different sources.

How? Have you browsed the Language Arts subject area and looked at all the literary genres?

First, switch to the Browse approach, and drill down into Language Arts area under the Subjects selection.

Check out the Current Events non-fiction information under Themes…

Also, in our ELL Theme we have a great section devoted to reading and highlighting a variety of types of materials like movie scripts and comics.

Removing the need to interrupt learning to find assistance with reading

Give readers a toolkit of literacy support approaches that will build their confidence and independence when reading challenging texts.

How? The Read Aloud tool converts text to speech, giving students the ability to have assistance with passages they are struggling with AND offering them a higher level of engagement with the text. Our dictionary tool functions at the individual word level, to give just in time definitions,synonyms and translations in text, helping readers overcome the gaps in their vocabulary and increase overall comprehension.

Look in our ELL Theme area again, this time notice all the other topics in the Skill Development section – check out stellar resources and collections that build ELA skills such as vocabulary and parts of speech awareness.

Removing the experience of frustration with text that is too complex

Let students read at their comfort level and for fun! Understanding how difficult resources are to read (or their complexity level) can be extremely helpful for teachers and learners to be able to target material that they will be successful with.

How? The netTrekker Readability Score is an easy and quick way to gauge the relative level of difficulty of information – allowing users to remove levels that are not at comfort level and sort by difficulty to see the complete range for a certain topic. Look for a readability score next to each resource in a result…hover over them to see their grade level correlation.

Removing the lack of choice in reading materials for learners

Give readers tools to curate their own reading lives and help them build a love for reading and increase their independence.


How? My Portfolio allows readers to select and collect materials as they are browsing – a powerful, just in time way for them to keep resources they enjoy or think they want to come back to.

Removing the language barrier for those who are learning English

Struggling readers often have one main area of difficulty, for your non-native English speakers there is a language barrier. When you offer material in multiple languages you are able to remove the additional stress of cross translation into their home language to aid comprehension. As confidence and English skills develop, ELL readers are less likely to have lasting struggles and more likely to be successful with material in English.

How? netTrekker offers quick and easy refinements to your search results, getting you and your readers to content in many languages effectively.

Within our special collections, Español is given special focus – for example, BrainPOP Español is rich, animated content that is supported by audio and text subtitles.

Recall that our Dictionary tool allows for quick, single word translations within content in English and can be set to always give translations first rather than definitions in English. Users can change their settings for the Dictionary tool within the My Preferences area under My Menu.

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