Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Enhances its Social Studies Online Content with SpeechStream Literacy Support from Texthelp Systems

ORLANDO, FL --  Global education leader Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s (HMH) award-winning HMH Social Studies Series is now speech-enabled with Texthelp System's web based literacy and language support technology, SpeechStream. With SpeechStream, HMH provides a personalized online learning environment to help readers improve reading and comprehension skills and increase the alignment of Social Studies 2012 with Common Core Standards. 

The HMH Social Studies Series covers history, geography, world cultures, and civics for grades 6-12. While HMH offers complete audio recordings of all online student editions for users, it found that for sighted students who struggle with reading, the need existed for a solution that would allow a struggling reader to interact with the text. HMH found that solution in SpeechStream.

HMH integrated this Universal Design technology within its existing eBook platform to provide an easy-to-use way for students to get the reading support they need within the same platform and by using the same online content as their peers. Embedded features include:

  • Text-to-speech with dual synchronous highlighting, which tracks each word as it is read aloud. This research-proven method improves word recognition, vocabulary, and comprehension.
  • Word Translator reads back the translated word and definition.
  • Reading speed control allows students to read at their own pace as they work through the content in a personalized learning environment.
“HMH is proud to be the first to offer text-to-speech functionality with every online social studies student edition for grades 6-12,” to said Melissa Counihan, Vice President, K-12 Literacy and Social Studies Segment Management, HMH.  “Texthelp enables us to bring this functionality to our students, leading to increased comprehension, achievement, and accessibility.”

With the addition of SpeechStream’s literacy support, the enhanced Social Studies Series material expands access to content to a more diverse group of students. This support is important and highly motivational for students with a wide range of literacy and language support needs including English Language Learners (ELL) or students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia and dysgraphia.

“We are excited to work with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and offer SpeechStream to readers,” said Jack Dolan, president of Texthelp Systems.  “Their content paired with our literacy support not only helps the students that struggle with the reading of the material, but helps all readers. Perhaps most importantly for students of this age, they can operate independently and not be different from their peers.” 

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
With education products and services used by 57 million students throughout all 50 U.S. states and 120 countries, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a global education and learning company. The world’s largest provider of materials for pre-K–12 learning, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is leading the way with innovative solutions and approaches to the challenges facing education today. Through curricula excellence coupled with technology innovations and professional services, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt collaborates with school districts, administrators, teachers, parents and students, providing interactive, results-driven learning solutions. Its Educational Consulting Services group works to increase student achievement in underperforming schools by developing, implementing and supporting education transformation through sustained district partnerships.  With origins dating back to 1832, the Company also publishes an extensive line of reference works and award-winning literature for adults and young readers. For more information, visit www.hmhco.com.

About Texthelp
Texthelp Systems (www.texthelp.com) provides literacy software solutions for individuals, K-12, higher education, and publishers. Texthelp's products include: Read&Write GOLD, Fluency Tutor, Lexiflow, and SpeechStream. Read&Write GOLD for Windows or Mac is a customizable easy-to-use toolbar that seamlessly integrates with mainstream applications allowing students to access reading, writing, studying, and research support tools from within programs they use everyday. Fluency Tutor is an online solution for developing and measuring oral reading fluency and comprehension. Lexiflow and SpeechStream allow publishers to deliver digital talking eBooks, assessments, and online content with support tools.  For more information, call Texthelp at 888-248-0652, email u.s.info@texthelp.com, or go to www.texthelp.com.