Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Review: WordQ+SpeakQ Software -- Help For Struggling Writers

Text-driven knowledge and writing are today’s social currency.  Millions are held back from achieving their potential in school, the workplace and their personal lives because of their writing disabilities.  It’s estimated that approximately 15% of students are diagnosed with learning differences.  For many, writing can be a painful, embarrassing process. It hurts to hear “This doesn’t make any sense, you need to fix this!” and “Aren’t you finished yet?” Fortunately, state-of-the-art assistive software now allows users to combine their strengths to compensate for their writing weaknesses. 

What is WordQ+SpeakQ?:

WordQ+SpeakQ software bundle is the first and only integrated word prediction and speech recognition tool available, designed for students (from 2nd grade to college) and others who struggle with writing.  It was developed by a research team led by Dr. Fraser Shein of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.

WordQ is an application that provides additional functionality to popular writing applications, including WORD PREDICTION (suggesting words that change depending on the context) and SPOKEN FEEDBACK that allows users to hear their mistakes (i.e., run-on sentences, spelling and punctuation errors).  SpeakQ is a plug-in that builds on and enhances WordQ’s functions, adding SPEECH RECOGNITION (speech-to-text functionality), which is designed to be tolerant of mild speech imperfections and accents. Within minutes of getting started (no reading is required for training!), this easy-to-master writing tool assists the user with word choices, spelling, grammar, punctuation, proofreading, and more.  Designed to be more forgiving than other programs, the result is more success for users.


WordQ is a simple but masterfully designed writing aid that helps struggling writers, regardless of age or writing ability.  (For PC and Mac)

  • Learns which words you like and predicts them faster
  • Predicts words even if they are spelled creatively or missing parts
  • Offers a list of words with similar meaning to add variety to your writing
  • Uses clear and pleasant speech feedback
  • Gives examples for words that sound similar by using them in a sentence
  • Reads aloud any text you can highlight, including websites, emails and messaging
  • Reads exactly what you write, so poor grammar sounds off and bad punctuation disrupts the rhythm
  • Helps only as much as you need with functions that easily turn on or off
  • Lets you modify word prediction to use specific vocabulary or topics
  • Abbreviation Expansion converts your acronyms to full text to save on typing time
  • Works with all commonly-used programs
  • Now includes English, French, Spanish and German
SpeakQ plug-in complements WordQ by adding forgiving speech recognition to the mix. Write better by mixing talking and typing! Designed for those who struggle with other dictation software.  (For PC)

  • Lets you type the words you know and speak the ones you don’t
  • Can write everything you say from single words to entire paragraphs
  • Offers suggestions for words you have difficulty pronouncing
  • Train it to understand your voice, with no reading required
  • No voice commands to remember
  • Allows you to mix typing and speaking for best results 

My Review: 

I had my husband try out this software, as he is a native Spanish speaker, and with English as his second language, he has trouble at times getting his thoughts down on paper.  As a member of Toastmasters International, he gives speeches each month in front of his group, in  order to improve his public speaking skills.  Prior to giving his speeches, he writes them down and then tries to memorize them.  If he is not suffering from writer's block, he is getting frustrated trying to think of the right words to use.  At times, he may know the word in Spanish, but trying to figure out the English equivalent brings headaches.  As a result, he tries to simplify his writing by choosing basic English language words he knows and can spell.  With the help of WordQ, he doesn't have to settle anymore with simple sentences.  Instead, this software helps him structure complex sentences based on his ideas.  This has provided him with a greater sense of pride in his writing. 

After a week of using WordQ + SpeakQ, he is hooked.  He doesn't know how he "settled" for so long, and dealt with endless days of frustration when it came to getting his thoughts across in writing.  He especially loved how the SpeakQ software could understand his voice and what he was saying.  Other voice recognition products he has tried in the past didn't work, as they couldn't make out his thick accent.

Overall, my husband gives this software package 2 thumbs up.  If you or your children have trouble with writing (including those with learning disabilities), why not try a 30 day trial of this software today.  Who knows, maybe you will be on the path to happier writing like my husband.

About goQ:

goQ is an international literacy software entity specializing in high-quality products, customer service and training.  The entity is comprised of Quillsoft (developers of WordQ+ SpeakQ), Strategic Transitions Inc. (global distributor) and ST4 Learning Inc. (U.S. distributor).

Disclosure:  I was given a copy of WordQ+ SpeakQ in order to write up an honest review.  The views stated above are mine and mine alone.

1 comment :

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