Text to speech (TTS) is a term used to describe software that converts digital text into speech using a read-aloud capability. TTS software and plugins turn text on a screen into speech, allowing persons with reading problems to listen to written words on a range of devices (such as books, newspaper articles, and textbooks).
Text-to-speech software has been shown to increase academic achievement in individuals with learning disabilities. Is it critical for you to use text-to-speech tactics as an instructor to enhance classroom performance for people who use assistive technology?
Assisting Dyslexic Students With Text-to-Speech Technology
Giving students access to text-to-speech technology is the most effective way to help dyslexic students overcome their reading difficulties. Districts will witness increased comprehension and less stressful student outbursts in the long term.
Any kid with dyslexia who has an internet connection and a mobile device or tablet can use text-to-speech technology.
TTS isn’t new, but it’s become a lot better. TTS technology has seen significant advancements as processing speeds have increased and prices have decreased.
Students can also talk into a microphone or utilize a dictation tool to “create” papers or take examinations.
Making the Most of Text-to-Speech Technology
While the evidence is mixed, there are a few things you can do to make sure TTS works for your children. One such aspect is ensuring that students select the appropriate text to speech voice.
Reading and comprehension will improve significantly with high-quality text to speech voices that sound like a human voice; the less artificial, the better. Try out different voices and see which one your student prefers.
Another important factor to consider is the speed with which the computer displays the text. Many students set the voice to extremely fast speeds to complete the readings as quickly as possible.
However, it has been proven that having the computer display the words at a rate of 140-180 words per minute is the best speed for pupils.
When choosing a text-to-speech tool, look for one that has a bi-modal reading option. When the computer highlights the offered word while it is read aloud, this is known as bi-modal reading. Visual and auditory presentation of the words aids pupils’ focus on the reading job and improves deeper understanding.
Research on Using Text-To-Speech Technology for Dyslexic Students
According to one study, students diagnosed with dyslexia benefited from the usage of text-to-speech software. For six weeks, the research team provided small-group TTS software training to students, and they witnessed gains in motivation to read, comprehension, and fluency.
Another study revealed that TTS helped children access reading content and was also well-liked by the students who use it, particularly those in grades 6-8.
TTS allows users with learning disabilities to listen to printed words and voice sounds using a read-aloud function, making reading more efficient and practical.
Listening to content allows students to identify errors and enhance their writing, text messages, emails, and social media postings quickly. They may also change/edit the text while listening by pausing it and making adjustments.
A text-to-speech tool thus solves various issues that students with reading disabilities face, such as misidentification of words, sluggish word reading, and linking text, all of which can lead to comprehension issues.