“For a student who cannot decode, speech-to-text is like spectacles for someone with poor vision. Showing a frustrated student that they can have text read to them is an enlightening experience. Their body language changes – they sit up, their eyes light up and immediately they begin changing the voices, changing the speed of the voice and the colours the text is highlighted in. At last, they have control over their learning which isn’t dependent on someone else.
If a learner has a reading difficulty, then steps should be taken to level the playing field and include them in the lesson; this is what reading with ears does. The mechanics of decoding is only one aspect of reading – every student should read and access the wide and rich vocabulary their typically developing peers are soaking up…And it costs nothing.
All a school needs is an old laptop and some headphones and although the commercial TTS software is superior, I can assure you that a student who cannot decode will not complain if you use the free versions.”
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