Text-to-Speech Software Improves Literacy

Pearson's Web-based learning tool, WriteToLearn™, featuring Texthelp System's embedded reading support technology, SpeechStream, offers a way for students to personalize their online learning environment and improve their reading comprehension and overall writing skills.

With WriteToLearn, students practice essay writing and summarization skills, and their efforts are measured by the Knowledge Analysis Technologies™ (KAT) engine. The KAT engine evaluates the meaning of text by examining whole passages, not just grammatical correctness or spelling. WriteToLearn provides feedback on six traits of writing - ideas, organization, conventions, sentence fluency, word choice and voice - and allows students and teachers to focus on each of these important dimensions of writing.

Using SpeechStream's text-to-speech capabilities, WriteToLearn meets a wide variety of learner needs for a diverse group of students, including support for programs for Title I, Response to Intervention, learning disabled, English language learners and at-risk learners. With SpeechStream, students can have online content read aloud with highlighting. The dictionary and spot word translation ability in WriteToLearn 5.0 enables students to instantly retrieve the dictionary definition or Spanish translation of words in a reading passage.

Text-to-speech with synchronous highlighting has been shown to elevate reading levels by two years and to improve reading comprehension by up to 40 percent for struggling readers. In addition, a recent study by Central Washington University in Ellensburg shows that students using these language support tools write nearly twice as much as students without the tools and demonstrate significant improvements in composition and organization.

For more information, visit www.writetolearn.net/ and www.texthelp.com