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ByteCool Software releases Chrome browser extension that can change how America's kids learn to read
The free Chrome browser extension "PIE Transformer" automatically adds diacritics to English words on Web pages to show pronunciation. Once a kid masters a one-page scheme, he will be able to read any English Web page with the help of diacritics.
The diacritics are based on a scheme called "Phonetically Intuitive English" (PIE) also developed by Ziyuan Yao. The scheme is designed to be logical, intuitive and easy to learn, and can be shown by a one-page chart (link attached below).
Once a kid learns this one-page chart, he will immediately be able to read any English Web page with the help of diacritics automatically added by this browser extension. Unlike phonics that tries to teach kids the many pronunciation rules of English, PIE Transformer directly shows an English word's pronunciation on the fly, immediately establishing the reader's knowledge about the word's spelling-pronunciation correspondence.
The browser extension can even convert lengthy volumes of children's literature or classical literature into diacritics-equipped versions, giving children early access to the world's literature and therefore developing their minds early.
People who speak English as a foreign or second language (EFL/ESL) will also find this free Chrome extension useful, in that it can help strengthen their English listening and speaking abilities.
Literacy is an issue of public concern nationwide. While there have been policy-based initiatives such as George W. Bush's "No Child Left Behind Act", there are few technological breakthroughs for this problem. The free availability of PIE Transformer will certainly make literacy in English-speaking countries a solved problem.
The browser extension is free and open source, and the scheme is intended as a free and open standard. The author of the extension encourages educational agencies to teach the PIE scheme, book publishers to publish children's books with PIE diacritics (automatically added by PIE Transformer)
Visit the browser extension's Chrome Web Store address (screenshots included):
Visit the one-page chart of the PIE scheme:
Visit the PIE project's official website (screenshots included):