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  Home > AT Basics > Curriculum > Reading > TWP's

Overview

Talking Word Processors

Text and Screen Readers

Scan to Speak

Screen Magnification

Readers for ebooks

Reading Sources

Reading Skills Development

Talking Word Processors

Highlighting | Re-reading Text | Importing Text | Other Uses

Talking word processors (TWP) are writing software programs that provide speech feedback as the student writes, echoing each letter as it is typed and each word as the spacebar is pressed. Many of these inexpensive programs, typically used to assist with writing, also incorporate powerful tools for reading. Students with learning disabilities find that having written material read aloud assists them to better edit, comprehend and organize. Once any file (story from a book, assignment, article, typed information, etc.) is imported into a talking word processor, the text can be read aloud to the student. These TWP programs offer other adjustments such as enlarging the size of the text and changing the color of the foreground, background and highlighting box to assist students in following along as the text is read.

 


Voices

TWP Features

These TWPs offer the ability to select from a variety of different voices, as well as adjust the rate and volume of the speech. Other features may include spell check, highlighting rates, word prediction or Internet connection. The table below offers program examples of different voices and adjusted rates. Adjusting these features can be very important for increased control and comprehension.


Examples

Write:Outloud (DJ, Inc.)
This TWP includes a spell check and several voices to choose from.

IntelliTalk II (IntelliTools)
Create or import text to be read in a variety of voices, fonts and backgrounds. Includes pre-made activities and the ability to create key palettes of graphics and word banks.

eReader (CAST)
This new version of Ultimate Reader includes an Internet button on its toolbar. When a student enters the Internet and brings up a web page, it opens in the TWP. The student then uses the software's commands to control the web page information read aloud.

Type & Talk (textHELP! Systems)
A simple, easy to use word processor will read text aloud, speak suggested corrections to incorrectly spelled words, or homophones, and help the user construct words and sentences using automatic word prediction. Helps to develop and strengthen literacy abilities.

 

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Highlighting

WriteOutLoud - Click to Play Animation
WriteOutLoud
Play

Text displayed in a talking word processor can be read word by word, sentence by sentence, or from beginning to end. As each word is spoken, it is "highlighted" or visually presented in a different color that can be set by the user. The TWP programs contain a variety of different voices for reading; the speed of the speech can also be adjusted. This means of reinforcing the look and sounds of words as they are read is very effective for students with disabilities and early readers.

 

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Re-reading Text

Another program feature that helps with editing and comprehending information is the ability to re-read the text word by word, sentence by sentence or the total page, as often as the students wants.

 

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Importing Text

New information can be imported into a talking word processor in a number of ways including:

  • Typing directly into a file in the talking word processor.
  • Copying text from another file or electronic resource (i.e., CD-ROM encyclopedia or Internet web page) and pasting it into the word processor.
  • Using a scanner with OCR software to scan any text into a file. This converts printed text into a digital format.

Remember: Once text is in digital format it can be accessed and manipulated in a variety of ways.

 

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Other Uses

  • Some teachers already create many of their instructional materials on the computer; outlines, directions, worksheets. If the material is created on a computer, it can be imported into a talking word processor.
  • Tests, quizzes and other assessments can be created, opened or copied into a talking word processor. This provides the means for independent student access.

 

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