Unlocking the Power of Text-to-Speech: A Comprehensive Guide for Students with Dyslexia
The voice synthesizer is an important accessibility tool designed for learning and inclusion. In this article, we will see what text-to-speech (or speech synthesis) is, why it is important for students with dyslexia, and how to choose the most suitable software for your needs.
Listen to digital texts with ease!
The voice synthesizer is a technology that allows you to listen to a digital text through the automatic reading of an artificial voice. Also known as speech synthesis or vocal reading, the voice synthesizer is based on the TTS technique, which stands for text-to-speech. Therefore, vocal synthesis automates the reading of a digital text by reproducing it as an audio file through common devices such as PCs, tablets, or smartphones.
Revolutionize your reading experience with automatic text-to-speech and highlighting synthesizers
Most text-to-speech synthesizers allow you to select the text you want to listen to (such as a sentence or entire passages) and in just a few clicks automatically simulate reading with a digital voice, which can be male or female, in different languages and speeds depending on the type of tool and of course its price.
The most advanced speech synthesis software also offers automatic highlighting of words, which dynamically highlights the background of the text being read so that the listener can follow word for word what is being read automatically by the synthesizer. This technology, also called highlighted speech synthesis or "karaoke effect" offers the additional advantage of helping students maintain attention while listening, making listening an active process.
A compensatory tool for improved comprehension and autonomy
Text-to-speech is a fundamental tool for children and students diagnosed with Specific Learning Disorder (SLD), especially for those with dyslexia. Dyslexia, especially in severe cases, makes reading and understanding long texts slow and difficult. Difficulty in deciphering words often discourages students and hinders their autonomy in studying, making the support of an adult necessary.
Several studies have shown that using text-to-speech software has positive effects on text comprehension for dyslexic students. If gradually introduced and with the support of experts in the pedagogical field, text-to-speech software helps compensate for reading difficulties. For all these reasons, text-to-speech is recognized as a compensatory tool (by law n.170/2010) on par with, for example, mind maps and speech-to-text software.
The advantages of text-to-speech for dyslexic students are:
- Facilitating text comprehension, making it faster and less tiring;
- Improving autonomy in reading texts, and therefore independence in studying;
- Increasing students' self-esteem.
A comprehensive guide to choosing the right synthesizer
Generally, to use text-to-speech you need a PC, tablet or smartphone, a digital text in formats such as Word or PDF, and a text-to-speech software to play the text with artificial voices. In the case of online text-to-speech synthesizers, you also need to be connected to the Internet through a browser such as Google Chrome or Safari.
There are different solutions for text-to-speech software, more or less technologically advanced, free or paid. The most common ones are:
- Pre-installed voices on a PC, in some cases free but offer poor quality voices with robotic timbres, little fluency and no highlighting.
- Software on a USB drive, ready-to-use solutions but with the obvious risk of being damaged or lost as they are small objects.
- Downloadable programs, paid ones offer good quality voices, also in different languages, but have big compatibility, updating and usability limitations.
- Online text-to-speech synthesizers, the best solutions because they integrate quality voices, are accessible from anywhere on any device with an Internet connection and are always updated to the latest version.
Therefore, the main factors to consider when choosing the most suitable text-to-speech synthesizer for your needs are:
- Compatibility and ease of use;
- The quality and variety of voices (male and female voices, different languages);
- The possibility to slow down or speed up the playback;
- The automatic karaoke highlighting of the voice reading.
Revolutionize your learning experience with algor education's text-to-speech synthesizer - listen to digital documents and books with ease!
The Algor Education text-to-speech synthesizer is the best solution for listening to digital documents and books. The platform, accessible from anywhere on PC, tablet, and smartphone, allows students of all ages to upload their digital texts, annotate them, and listen to them easily and quickly. In addition, on the same screen, digital documents (PDF and Word) and a multimedia environment are available to create concept maps with just a few clicks from your digital texts.
Algor Education allows you to use its excellent text-to-speech synthesizer in the PDF environment, thanks to the convenient draggable bar, or in the multimedia map environment. Once you have selected the text to play, you can start playback, pause, or stop it. In addition, the text-to-speech synthesizer is also integrated into the concept map environment and allows you to listen to the nodes of your online concept maps.
Here are the features of the Algor Education text-to-speech synthesizer in brief:
- High-quality male or female voices;
- Text-to-speech with karaoke highlighting;
- Vocal reading in different languages (Italian, English, French, German, Spanish);
- Ability to change the playback speed for slower or faster listening.
The Algor Education synthesizer is available on a Base subscription (classic text-to-speech) or Pro subscription (text-to-speech with highlighting). All you have to do is try it for free, just create an account and activate the Free Trial.