English ProgramZimmer Foundation for China was awarded a donation of the Reading Companion software by IBM Corporation in August 2007. The educational software tool is used in Tongren, Guizhou in Tongren University with English students and with select students in the community learning English. This was the first time Reading Companion software was used in China.
Reading Companion is a reading tool. As such, an essential component of any reading program is for students to have time to practice reading with feedback. The amount of time that each child spends reading aloud in a classroom is always limited. With Reading Companion, each student can have personal time to read material selected for their current achievement level, regardless of the number of students in the classroom. Reading Companion provides that time. And because it's internet based, students can access it from anywhere, further expanding the time they can practice reading English and practice their pronunciation. Teachers use Reading Companion as a supervised, self-paced practice opportunity for emerging readers. Emerging readers benefit from reading interesting content designed specifically for them. Now, all English majors at Tongren University utilize Reading Companion and are tested on Reading Companion for their pronunciation.