Talking word processing programs can help introduce writing to
students. These programs speak aloud what is typed into the computer.
They echo each letter as it is typed and each word as the spacebar
is pressed. When beginning to write, most students find they benefit
from visual and auditory supports. The ability to hear a letter
or word spoken as it is typed helps children to more quickly associate
letters and words with their sounds, thereby connecting visual and
auditory images of words.
As these programs also provide ways to re-read text, they give
power and independence. Children can hear their texts as often as
they like and go back and change what they want. Text can be totally
re-read or read by word, sentence or paragraph.
Most talking word processors also provide adjustable font size
and adjustable foreground and background colors. All children benefit,
as these programs work to enhance the acquisition of literacy skills.
Using a multisensory approach improves writing because students
immediately hear if letters or words are omitted or misplaced.
Outloud V.3 (DJ,
This dedicated talking word processor is recommended for all grades.
The software can speak words and sentences, read whole entries,
and repeat text as often as desired. Students can also import graphics
to help them write and listen to their work with one of three voices.
They can choose screen and font colors, and highlight words or sentences
in different colors. Beginning writers like this easy to use program.
It includes the Talking Franklin® Spell Checker, Dictionary
and Homonym Checker for older students.
This fully accessible talking word processor combines speech, graphics,
and text with dynamic palettes to support learning throughout the
curriculum. The new (2000) version includes step-by-step tutorials
on the IntelliTools website. A Teacher's Guide with lesson plans
for different age groups is provided.
Type & Talk (textHELP)
This dedicated talking word processor can provide a successful environment
for the early writer. Advanced features make this dedicated word
processor program also appropriate for students in intermediate
grades, when writing activities become more complex. This program
includes speech, an advanced phonetic spell checker, word prediction,
and a thesaurus among other features.
Read & Write (textHELP)
Read & Write includes even more features and can be used with
any IBM word processor. It will read text from the screen aloud,
as well as menus, lists and other boxes on the screen using optional
friendly animated characters for easy use. (MS Windows only)
This talking word processor adds spoken voice, visual highlighting,
document navigation, or page navigation to any electronic text.
Web pages can be accessed and read directly from the tool bar. The
student is able to control movement through the text using automatic
or manual stepping to each "chunk" of text.