Literacy tools for planet earth

SynPhony Community Edition

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 it doesn't give a damm and never has), 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

For more information about ongoing Synphony development, click here:

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.

Follow an existing curriculum sequence or easily create your own. Match reading material dynamically to the reading ability or disability of any student.


SynPhony can handle any script your browser handles. That means dozens of writing systems used by thousands of languages.

Alphabets, abjads, abugidas, or syllabaries; from left to right or right to left, we've got you covered.

Dynamic and flexible word lists

Create word lists that contain only the letters you select. Control for syllable length, sort by length, alphabetically, randomly, or frequency. See the cumulative word list at any time. Cover all the spelling patterns systematically, explicitly, sequentially and cumulatively.

Create Puzzles

Create word search 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.

Build capacity

Empower native speakers to participate in the development of educational resources for their own communities. (See video below.)


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quotation mark Mavis Price

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! … I can try out innumerable different sequences at the click of a mouse.

Mavis Price ~ Literacy Co-ordinator of SIL PNG
quotation mark Bob Litteral

SynPhony is a God-send.

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

Bob Litteral ~ Linguist
quotation mark Yohana Hynum

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

Yohana Hynum ~ Literacy teacher
quotation mark wionare_mitimo_320

It is easy to use and very helpful.

Wionare Mitimo ~ Literacy Supervisor