Engaging young learners is about as easy as getting a hole in one on your first-ever golf outing. The odds are there, but they’re not necessarily in your favor. Since classrooms are such diverse places, engaging students of different backgrounds and educational levels is key in driving a lesson home. Yet, that engagement does not come easy.
Such disparate backgrounds and educational differences make it difficult to find solutions or methodologies that suit every student. Where one child may be reading on a 4th grade level in 3rd grade, another may be struggling to read at their grade level at all.
What can be done to engage children and help level the playing field? Utilize text to speech or text to voice technologies. There are 3 key ways in which text to speech software can drive engagement and make your classroom a more accessible place.
Introduce Digital Test Taking
Research suggests that students with learning challenges and disabilities often struggle greatly with standardized testing. One solution that has found success in improving scores and classroom performance is utilizing text to voice technologies.
Assistive technologies allow educators to move tests to a digital format. Rather than having a student staring stumped at a paper, struggling with comprehension, digital tests allow students to hear exam questions out loud.
This affords them the opportunity to re-read test content and think about the information in a different way. Studies show that this not only improves academic performance, but it can also help to alleviate the test anxiety that many students feel before a bit exam or quiz.
Introduce Students To Different Languages
Reading aloud is fantastic for young learners. Introducing young learners to relevant accents, languages, and dialects with a certain book or piece of text can boost comprehension and drive engagement.
Research suggests that educators that utilize text to voice technologies with different languages and natural dialects can keep students more focused on the content at hand. Additionally, hearing authentic dialects connects learners to a story in an authentic way.
They aren’t just hearing the words in their teacher’s voice or their own voice, they’re hearing it in a character-like voice, much like that of a movie narrator. This authenticity is key in helping children to understand, comprehend, and maintain interest for longer periods of time. Many texts to speech programs offer at least 18 to 20 different languages to choose from.
Take Advantage Of The Ability To Customize
Giving the same lesson time and time again can start to feel stuffy. Students can easily grow bored, as educators relay information in traditional formats. One key way that text to speech technology can drive classroom engagement is by offering a high-level of customization.
Unlike a worksheet that needs to be silently read, text to voice allows educators to take advantage of features such as increasing or decreasing rate, choosing dialect or language, highlighting specific spoken words, or even pronouncing and sounding out difficult words.
Text to speech can also be woven into different moments in the classroom schedule. Since it is so versatile, it can become a part of silent sustained reading, indoor recess, or centers. Students will feel more engaged, less frustrated, and as if they are finally on a level playing field.
Text to voice and text to speech technologies are an easy and inexpensive way to introduce students from all educational backgrounds and learning levels to new information. It drives engagement and keeps information fresh, even while implementing new ideas!