A study with ESOL Prisoners - Educational Opportunities in Prisons when English is a Second language.
In one prison, an ESOL prisoner with little English was given an ExamReader to help him during English lessons. He quickly adapted to the pen and used this to ‘hear’ the word, speaking this out loud, before copying the word in English, then writing the word in his own language. Within 3 weeks his English had improved immensely. He named the pen the “magic pen.” His ability to integrate with English prisoners increased, he was able to go onto Functional Skills Level 1 English.
Prison Studies - ExamReader support for One-Day Courses, Workshops and Functional Skills: Mathematics and English
Exam Reader Support – Prisoner feedback “The pen is easy to use, it helped me to stay calm and less stressed.” “It gives people who struggle to read the chance to be at the same level as others.” “I thought the pens were great because they are simple to use and it empowers the learner to learn for themselves. It is functional and can be used in a lot of different situations.” “I wanted to use the ExamReader in my Functional Skills Maths and they let me, I asked if I could buy one to use in my cell and I was chuffed when the Governor said I could, it’s my pen and it helps me so much.”
Studies in Workshops - Opportunities in Prisons to support learning with ReaderPens and ExamReaders
Tutors reported a reduction in time required during lessons, to support reading therefore allowing them to teach the modules. Each section of the course was delivered faster. Reading support was achieved independently by the prisoners using the ReaderPen to decode the text. The capacity to undertake the course quickly and independently increased pass rates in each unit and gave the prisoner transferable qualifications and skills.
Peer Mentor Study - Support in prison workshops and classrooms and the introduction of assistive technology
A peer mentor stated he “hadn’t thought about the impact” when being asked to read private correspondence. He appreciated the desire to find the right solution when offering reading support. A non-reading prisoner described how difficult it was to build up a relationship of ‘trust’ when asking another to read, for example a solicitor’s letter. The prisoner went on to explain “the ReaderPen lets us read things privately, then I can decide to ask the peer mentor for more help or not.”
Pen on The Wing Study - Support for independent reading and comprehension in the prison cell
“What sort of things will you use your ReaderPen for?” asked Independent Researcher, Christine Franklin to the man in the cell who made a request to his Prison Governor to purchase his own pen. His answers were clear and supported his desire for rehabilitation and learning independence:
“Helping to gain the knowledge to pass my functional skills English exam” “Reading legal typed correspondence relating to my case” “Reading for enjoyment and pleasure”
A Study with Prisoners – Creating Opportunities for Development and Confidence
Learner J had been working through lockdown in-cell and was near completion of his Level 1 Functional Skills English Reading, before his tutor was able to visit him on the wing to discuss exam readiness. She gave him a short reading task and was shocked to find he could not read any of it. He was shown the reading pen and asked to try it on a random piece of text.
Case Study – HMP Swaleside: Mr X serving a 16 ½ Year Sentence
In September 2021, Mr X was issued a ReaderPen Secure on a long-term loan due to having low literacy and deteriorating eyesight. Since having the pen he’s felt more independent, giving him the ability to go through his legal paperwork, menus, canteen sheets and books with improved confidence.