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TEXT-TO-SPEECH TECHNOLOGY: WHAT IT IS AND ITS USEFULNESS

The recent advances in educational applications of computer hardware and software have provided a rapidly growing store of resources for language learning. The area of Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) is flourishing at such a high pace that it is almost impossible for language instructors to keep up with it.

What Is A Text To Speech Software?

A Text-To-Speech software converts normal text into speech thus enabling the courses to become Section 508 compliant and create accessible e-learning modules to help differently-abled learners. TTS also helps in easy editing of the audio while the course is under development.

Text-to-speech (TTS) is a type of assistive technology that reads digital text aloud. It’s sometimes called “read aloud” technology.
With a click of a button or the touch of a finger, TTS can take words on a computer or other digital device and convert them into audio. TTS is very helpful for kids who struggle with reading. But it can also help kids with writing and editing, and even be focusing.

Usefulness of A Text to Speech Software

Text to speech software can be enormously helpful for anyone who’s visually impaired or has a condition like dyslexia that makes reading on screens tricky. It can also help overcome language barriers for people who read a language but don’t speak it or are in the process of learning.

Text to speech software is also ideal if you want to listen to a document while doing something else, if you find it easier to retain the information you’ve heard, or if you want to sense-check something you’ve written.

Narration and use of human voices are quite the recipe to make online learners more interested and emotionally connected with the eLearning course. Fortunately, there is great abundance in narration and voice-over professionals out there.

Examples of Text to Speech Software

NaturalReader

Another great text to speech software with Optical Character Recognition for both Windows and Mac users. NaturalReader also offers the ability to change speed of speech.

Great Aid For People With Learning Disabilities

From dyslexics, to visually impaired online learners the “see it highlighted as you listen to it” function is a one key fits all solution. Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
OCR enables you to scan your text and then convert it into digital text which you can listen to in audio form or save in your computer.

Announcify

Announcify reads out loud every website you want. For example, if you’re too tired but still need to study one more Wikipedia entry, Announcify can help your tired eyes relax.

PowerTalk

PowerTalk is a free program that automatically speaks any presentation or slide show running in Microsoft PowerPoint for Windows. You just download and install PowerTalk and while you open and run the presentation as usual it speaks the text on your slides.

Select and Speak

Select and Speak uses iSpeech’s human sounding text to speech to let you select text from almost any website and make it talk. It includes many iSpeech text to speech voices in different languages; it has recently added Arabic, Korean, and Greek text to speech to the Select and Speak Chrome app. You can also request additional languages by contacting them!

WordTalk

WordTalk will speak the text of the document and will highlight it as it goes. It contains a talking dictionary and a text-to-mp3 converter.

Read Clip (http://www.readclip.com/)

Read Clip was originally developed as a blogger’s tool to read and write posts on internet forums. It is a TTS reader that can read and spell check posts and manage several text and picture clips at a time in Windows Clipboard. TTS is an important tool for any e-learning development and the rapid advancement in its features like mobile support across iOS and Android devices, subtitling in the form of metadata etc will definitely benefit the e-learning developer community.

 

Article by: Busayo Tomoh

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