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. 

rw4gc, toolbar, ReadWrite, featuer

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!


EKG 10/19/2016 1:38:37 AM
Is anyone experiencing a slow lower tone voice playback, when using the read aloud tool? I have added this tool to a number of different platforms (eg chrombooks, dell/hp laptops and full desktops). All of these devices are augmenting the voices when it is played back.

Deena Kimmel 10/19/2016 1:53:00 PM
Thanks for your note! This is due to an issue with Chrome as it misidentifies some microphones which causes issues with playback. We are aware of this issue and are looking into ways to provide a fix.

Will Rice 10/18/2016 9:07:28 PM
Wondering how to unselect a teacher to send it too after a student chooses them? Seems it auto send to that teacher each time without prompting the student to select the teacher again or remove the teacher.

Deena Kimmel 10/19/2016 1:49:40 PM
Hi Will,

At present, once the teacher has ‘accepted’ a student recording and started to track progress in Fluency Tutor for Google (which is the app that is used for the Practice Reading Aloud feature) there is no way to change who the recordings are sent to. We understand that this might be an issue since Read&Write for Google Chrome is used a bit differently than Fluency Tutor for Google (where one teacher is tracking progress). So we are looking at solutions to this for the Practice Reading Aloud feature. Thank you for the feedback!

Lindsay Ballance 10/18/2016 4:18:49 PM
How is the reading level calculated in the Practice Reading Aloud feature?

Deena Kimmel 10/18/2016 5:26:05 PM
Hi Lindsay,

The reading level is calculated by Lexile level, or you can switch to Accelerated Reading/Guided Reading/Fountas & Pinnell or Developmental Reading Assessment. If you'd like to switch reading level methods, go to your profile on the top right-hand side, then go to preferences, and from there you can switch the Text Maturity Level.


Ava 10/19/2016 3:32:17 AM
I can't seem to find where the lexile level would be or where to change the "maturity level"?

Deena Kimmel 10/19/2016 6:21:05 PM
Hi Ava,

Here are a couple screenshots of where to go to change the reading level:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CupAOAaWAAAmLWh.jpg https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CupAOAoWcAAQ7ib.jpg


Deb Dean 10/13/2016 5:30:33 PM
Does this work in Read and Write for iPad?

Deena Kimmel 10/13/2016 8:05:45 PM
Hi Deb,

Unfortunately, the Practice Reading Aloud feature is not available in the Read&Write for iPad app. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Sarah 10/12/2016 10:37:34 PM
How do you access R&W using an i-pad?

S Hanna 10/13/2016 10:05:29 AM
Hi Sarah,
You can get Read&Write for iPad by visiting the App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/read-write-for-ipad/id934749270?mt=8

Chase Amos 10/12/2016 3:00:01 PM
This is amazing!!!!!!

S Hanna 10/13/2016 10:06:18 AM
Thanks Chase, glad you like it! :)

ANONYMOUS 10/12/2016 1:32:41 PM
this seems really cool and awesome

S Hanna 10/13/2016 10:21:21 AM
Great to hear, thanks!

Alaric Hazen 10/12/2016 1:07:10 PM
I like your products and it is a good idea

S Hanna 10/13/2016 10:01:43 AM
Great to hear Alaric! Thanks for your feedback :)

Leena Liimatainen 10/12/2016 10:11:56 AM
This is so great!

When would this be available in French or Spanish for us foreign language teachers?


Heather 10/13/2016 6:56:20 PM
Great thought!

Deena Kimmel 10/13/2016 8:21:16 PM
Thanks Leena!

We're glad you like it. And that's great feedback about making the feature multilingual. We will definitely take it into consideration for the next update!

Deena Kimmel 10/13/2016 8:52:44 PM
Hello again Leena,

I just got an updated response from our developers. If you have Read&Write set to Spanish or French, the Practice Reading Aloud feature will work for Spanish or French passages. Some of the prompts and explanations of how to use the feature will still be in English at this time, but the actual tools within the feature (i.e. text to speech) will be in the language selected.

Anne Stevenson 10/11/2016 11:09:37 PM
How do you get this installed?

Ruth Houston 10/12/2016 8:25:05 AM
Hi Anne,

If you visit the Chrome Store, you can install Read&Write for Google Chrome from there: https://goo.gl/4jhUpL

If you're a teacher, sign up to our Free for Teachers register to get premium features free of charge: https://goo.gl/UO4cmQ

michelle yoyoyoyoyoyoyo 10/11/2016 10:19:41 PM
I think this is a cool way to learn and understand things for school!Good job Google!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ruth Houston 10/12/2016 8:25:56 AM
Hi Michelle,

It's really great to hear that you love our products.



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