Word Prediction Software

UDL 4.2 UDL 5.2

Word prediction software automatically generates a list of possible words as letters are being typed. With each typed letter, the software refines a list of the most commonly used words (e.g., if “ca” is typed, the list may include: cat, call, calf, came, cane, capitol, capital, etc.), and when it appears on the list, the student can click on the desired word. Because it is easier to recognize a word than to spell it, this is an effective tool to help students focus on content rather than mechanics during their writing process. Word Prediction software decreases the number of keystrokes required to type a word, making it a highly effective tool for students who may need fine motor support. Using this tool allows students to be more efficiently while producing higher quality compositions.

Implementation Tips

Size of Digital Dictionary
Pay attention to the size and nature of the dictionary in the word prediction program students are using. Large, general dictionaries make it difficult for some students to find what they need for academic assignments. When available, select smaller, more specialized academic dictionaries come up with words students are looking for more readily.
The First Few Letters
Emphasize that students should do their best to accurately type the letters for the initial word sounds when using word prediction. The program will only suggest words from the letters typed, and will not interpret invented spelling or misspellings.
Companion Technology
Pair word prediction with text-to-speech technologies to get an even better result with many students for both composing and proofreading. Some word processing applications, such as [[|Read&Write for Google]] include both as features, making it easier to access them together during one writing session more seamlessly.


Word prediction can be a routine accommodation to help students with persistent struggles with spelling find correctly spelled words as they are writing. It reduces the need to seek out spelling assistance that takes more time (e.g. asking teacher or classmate, using online or hard copy dictionary), decrease the overall number of spelling mistakes, and decrease student frustration. Introduce word prediction to students in upper elementary school, after they have had plenty of intervention to improve spelling skills and they have plateaued.
Decrease Hand Fatigue
Word prediction is especially helpful for students who have mild to moderate fine motor difficulty. Because the program reduces the number of keystrokes needed for typing, these students experience less hand fatigue, can type for longer periods, and can finish typed assignments more quickly.
Novice Typists
Give students who are just learning to type opportunities to use word prediction from time to time. This can speed the physical act of typing, and hasten the transition to composing at the keyboard. Be careful, though, to avoid students developing a reliance on it that substantially delays development of typing skills or fluency of encoding while typing.

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