Did you know that with the right software your computer can turn text into the spoken voice?
Children who find reading difficult can often benefit from having text reinforced by hearing it read aloud.
If you have Microsoft Word installed on your computer you can download WordTalk which is a free text-to-speech plugin. It will speak the text of the document and will highlight it as it goes. It also contains a talking dictionary to help decide which spelling is most appropriate. Word Talk can be used to save Word documents as sound files and transferred to phones or mp3 players allowing the user to hear a document read out. For more information on WordTalk and how to download it click here.
Read Out Loud is a feature that comes with the free Adobe Reader (Version 6.0 or later) which reads aloud the text in a PDF document. To read out a document simply select View / Read Out Loud / Read to End of Document. For more information on the feature click here.
The quality of synthetic voices varies considerable and we would highly recommend that before using any text to speech software you download one of the Scottish voices that have been created by CereProc in Edinburgh. The Scottish Government has funded CALL Scotland to provide a Scotland-wide schools licence for 2 Scottish voices ‘Heather‘ and ‘Stuart’ which can also be downloaded by pupils for home use. Click here for a link to download both voices.