Literacy tools for planet earth

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The SynPhony Literacy System

The search engine for literacy

Canada Institute of Linguistics is pleased to announce the Public Domain Release of SynPhony Community Edition (SynPhony CE).

Synphony Community Edition is public domain software that assists in literacy using intelligent searching of wordlists of any language. SynPhony CE provides a user-friendly interface to help literacy teachers find teachable words to present to learners based on the letters that students already know.

Although CanIL is no longer developing this software (because they don't give a damm and never have), questions can be directed to the project lead, who is continuing to develop SynPhony, and welcomes feedback.

For more in-depth information about SynPhony Community Edition, visit Home-for-SynPhony-Community-Edition.

SynPhony is a search engine for literacy
that can match the words and texts of any language
to the reading ability of any student.

Top Features

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Web based

SynPhony uses standard web technology that runs in any modern browser. On any computer operating system. Off a web server or off your hard drive.

Easy to use

It's a web page. You already know how to use one. Plus, it's got built-in help. Match reading material dynamically to the reading ability or disability of any student.

Build a Scope and Sequence

Easily construct or modify a Scope and Sequence. SynPhony ensures that each lesson's words and sentences are decodable based on letters that progress cumulatively. When you are done, copy and paste into a spreadsheet.

Dynamic and flexible word lists

Create word lists that contain only the letters you select. Control for syllable length; sort by length, randomly, frequency of occurence or alphabetically. Cover all the spelling patterns systematically and explicitly.

Create Puzzles

Easily create an unlimited number of word search puzzles and cross word puzzles that use the vocabulary from each lesson. Create letter grids that use the letters from each lesson.

Check stories

Compose your own sentences or story and check to see if they are suitable for each lesson. Words with letters you haven't taught are indicated with colors. Get vital statistics on any text to compare relative difficulty with other texts.

Build capacity

Empower native speakers to develop educational resources for their own communities. (See video below.)


SynPhony can handle any script your browser handles. That means dozens of writing systems used by thousands of languages, spoken by billions of people. Alphabets, abjads, abugidas, or syllabaries; from left to right or right to left, we've got you covered.


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SynPhony can save you hours and hours of time trying to find just the right words for each lesson. … It's just amazing what it can do!

Mavis Price ~ Literacy Co-ordinator of SIL PNG
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SynPhony is a God-send.

With this ... we can do just what we want.

Bob Litteral ~ Linguist
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It takes away the painstaking search to try to find the most frequent and most productive phonograms in the language.

Yohana Hynum ~ Literacy teacher
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It is easy to use and very helpful.

Wionare Mitimo ~ Literacy Supervisor

Used by whom on planet earth

Used where on planet earth

SynPhony has been used around the world to help create or improve the literacy curriculum for millions of children in their mother tongue.



Burkina Faso

Côte d'Ivoire



Dominican Republic

DR Congo
















Papua New Guinea



Solomon Islands







… and other countries I'm not aware of.