Jason Carroll, Global Product Manager

Practice Reading Aloud with Read&Write for Google Chrome

A few weeks ago we announced several new features and enhancements to Read&Write for Google Chrome™ just in time for back to school. In both our blog post and webinar we also hinted at some additional updates coming soon. 

We’re happy to announce that the first of those updates, a new Practice Reading Aloud feature, is now available. 

The Practice Reading Aloud feature lets students select any text from a Google Doc or the web, practice and record themselves reading it aloud, listen to their recording, and even share it with their teacher! And it’s a completely free feature - the first new free feature to be added to the toolbar since Read&Write launched!

Keep reading for additional details on how it works, as well as a short overview video.

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The next time you open Read&Write for Google Chrome you’ll likely see the new “Practice Reading Aloud” icon on the toolbar. If you don’t see the new feature immediately just give it a day or two as it will be rolled out gradually to all users starting today. 

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As the name suggests, the purpose of this tool is to allow students to practice reading any content aloud. Being able to read clearly, accurately and with appropriate expression are all key traits of fluent readers. And the best way to become a more fluent reader is by practicing reading aloud, and listening for areas that may need improvement.

We’ve learned from educators like you that students often use the Voice Notes feature already available in Read&Write to record themselves reading out loud. But it’s only available in Google Docs, and doesn’t include many of the additional support tools students need to become fluent readers.

With the new Practice Reading Aloud button, students can simply select text from a Google Doc or the web, then use tools like text-to-speech, talking and picture dictionaries, and more to support their understanding of the content. 

When ready, there’s a record button that allows students to record themselves reading the text. They can then listen to it and re-record as much as they’d like. There’s even an option to send a recording to their teacher! Check out the video below for a quick overview of how it all works.

If a student chooses to send their recording via Google Classroom, or by entering their teacher’s email address, their teacher will receive an email with information about the recording and an option to listen to it. Choosing to listen will open up the recording, along with the text the student was reading, in a new tab. 

Finally, for teachers who want to go the extra mile, the new Practice Reading Aloud feature integrates with Read&Write’s companion product - Fluency Tutor for Google. While completely optional, Fluency Tutor will allow teachers to store students recordings so they can track progress over time. They can also provide feedback and assign additional readings. 

Teachers who previewed this feature in its early stages were really excited to have access. The Practice Reading Aloud button can be great for struggling readers and English Language Learners, and can be used to practice speeches and vocabulary words and so much more. Now that it’s available we can’t wait to hear how you’ll be using it - let us know in the comments section below!


steph 02/09/2020 18:45:50
could not change the teacher it would send to today is this a new issue?

Deena Kimmel 03/09/2020 12:25:40
Hi Steph - Could you please email support@texthelp.com? They'll be able to help determine what's going on. Thanks!

Quinn 10/08/2020 04:32:09
By what measure is the reading level determined? Pacing? Pronounciation? etc

Also, how does the program generate a reading level when the text that is read could hugely vary in difficulty?

I ask these questions because I'm interested in having my new students read something aloud so that I can begin to gather data on who my strong and struggling readers are, but I won't know how to interpret teh data based on my above questions. I don't know what sort of text to provide to them. Should it be a text written at their grade level (9th), or something difficult so that strong reads show how strong they are, and struggling readers scale down from there?

What is the best way to get good data from this?

Deena Kimmel 10/08/2020 12:14:42
Hi Quinn - Thanks for your questions! Based on what you're looking for, we would recommend checking out Fluency Tutor for Google. The Practice Reading Aloud feature within Read&Write is part of Fluency Tutor, but there's so much more as well. It has built-in reading passages that can be filtered by age or LexIle level. Plus, it gives teachers a dashboard so they can quickly see how their students are performing and where they need improvement. Here's the link if you'd like to learn more: https://www.texthelp.com/products/fluencytutor/. Thanks!

Amy 16/04/2020 22:10:41
I love the recording feature, but the recordings won't play for me when the students send them. Is there something I am doing wrong?

Deena Kimmel 17/04/2020 14:47:48
Hi Amy - Can you please email support@texthelp.com? They'll be able to look into what the issue might be. Thank you!

Sarah 29/03/2020 18:39:24
When I highlight the text and then click Practicing Reading Aloud - the format of the Google Doc becomes all jumbled and hard to read. Is there a setting I'm missing, or something I am not doing correctly?

Deena Kimmel 30/03/2020 12:57:14
Hi Sarah! Can you please email support@texthelp.com? They'll be able to help you troubleshoot to figure out what's going on. Thank you!




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