Speech-to-Text to the Rescue

Have you ever tried to read an article or paper but gotten so bogged down with the vocabulary that you didn't understand what was going on? This happens to students every single day in schools, and especially to ESL, ELL, or reading disabled children. There is evidence showing that this is due to an overload on their working memory and can be addressed with some simple interventions in the classroom and with therapy outside the class.

Chrome Extensions are a great way to improve the web, including speech-to-text. I used them in my teaching to help students focus on the context of the entire article and not necessarily on the vocabulary on it's own. What I saw was an improvement in comprehension and summarization of the text as well as a more open approach to scientific literature.

You can read the full Google Doc and, as always, comments are welcome.

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One thought on “Speech-to-Text to the Rescue

  1. Sarah says:

    Brian,
    I was very intrigued by the tech tool that you presented this past week called, Speakit. What an easy, free app to use from Google Chrome that supports struggling readers.The school I work at is a boarding school and we support a lot of ESL learners.A tool like this would provide them the opportunity to not only hear the text in English, but also in their native language. Speakit would provide my ESL learners the extra support to build not only their vocabulary, but comprehension skills, too.
    I can envision my ESL students, or any of my other students, using this tech tool to help them proofread their work. Many of my students struggle to proofread and edit their own work. By allowing them to use text to speech software, they would be able to hear their own work and catch errors. For example, a common mistake I see with my ESL learners is confusing in and on. By using Speakit to listen to their work, it would allow them to see if their writing flowed, or if they were using the correct English words.
    Like your research states, “proficient readers can do two things simultaneously: decode text and comprehend the body of text as a whole.” In order to become a successful reader, one most master both, decoding skills and comprehension skills. Speakit is a great tool that helps students work on these skills!

    Thanks for sharing,

    ~Sarah J.

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