We produce regular newsletters, updates and briefings about what's happening here at Careersoft and in the wider world of CEIAG. The most recent of these can be found in the news section of our website.
Older newsletters, such as the one below, contain interesting stories, however some of the information contained within them may be out of date. Please check any information carefully before making a decision based on it.
Why reading age matters
In producing independent careers advice resources, Careersoft’s writing team works to strict policies for reading ages. In JED for example, all the content is kept to a reading age of 11.9 or less (10.9 for First Jed), so that it is understandable for a wide range of users.
Why do reading ages matter? Figures for 2011 show that around a quarter of boys starting secondary school have a reading age of below 11, and nearly one in ten has a reading age of below 9. And reading age issues don’t stop when people leave school. The Skills for Life survey published in December 2011 stated that about 1 in 7 adults of working age has a reading age of below 11.
Most readability formulae are based on a 50 per cent correct answer score in a comprehension test. So a reading level measured as 11 years predicts that an average 11-year-old would be at the limit of his or her reading comprehension ability with that text, if ‘at the limit’ means scoring 50% in a comprehension test.
Very often it is the students with the lower reading ages who need the most help in making smart careers choices. A clear career goal can be a great inspiration and motivation. Knowing what you want to achieve often brings energy and drive into the studies needed in order to get there.
Lower reading ages don’t have to mean a childish style though. The classic novel ‘A Kestrel for a Knave’ by Barry Hines has a reading age of 10.5, and ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee has a reading age of 11.5. While we don’t aim to reach quite those literary heights with JED, we do work hard to make sure that the content is clear and understandable. With the right approach, everyone has access to information that works for them and no one gets left behind.
JED’s new text-to-speech
JED, the Job Explorer Database from Careersoft, is designed to engage users of all abilities. That includes weaker readers, as well as those with higher literacy skills. That’s why JED includes text-to-speech as an option for subscribers.
JED’s text-to-speech reads aloud the text in any JED page. Useful for students who struggle a bit with reading, and helpful for those with special needs too. Students for whom English is not their first language enjoy the extra confidence it gives them as well.
From the beginning of 2012, we have changed the way that we do the text-to-speech in JED. Instead of the animated character and speech bubble, the new text-to-speech highlights the words in the page as it reads. It also has a new, more-realistic voice.
The new text-to-speech is easy to deploy. With most Windows computers it doesn’t need anything extra installing in order to use it.
If you’ve not yet tried text-to-speech, contact us for a free trial or visit our website to view a short video showing it in action.
Out and about in 2012
Come and meet us at one of the national careers events
Last updated 27 May, 2017