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 our literacy software 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.

readwrite, practice, reading, feature

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!


Breah 12/13/2020 4:37:02 PM
My daughter didn’t accept the permissions to send recordings, and now no matter what I try she can’t record anything. Can someone please help us, this is very frustrating :(

Deena Kimmel 12/14/2020 1:25:55 PM
Hi Breah - Sorry to hear that. If you could please contact our Support Team at support@texthelp.com, they'll be able to make sure your daughter is all set! Thanks!

steph 9/2/2020 6:45:50 PM
could not change the teacher it would send to today is this a new issue?

Deena Kimmel 9/3/2020 12:25:40 PM
Hi Steph - Could you please email support@texthelp.com? They'll be able to help determine what's going on. Thanks!

Quinn 8/10/2020 4:32:09 AM
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 8/10/2020 12:14:42 PM
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 4/16/2020 10:10:41 PM
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 4/17/2020 2:47:48 PM
Hi Amy - Can you please email support@texthelp.com? They'll be able to look into what the issue might be. Thank you!

Sarah 3/29/2020 6:39:24 PM
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 3/30/2020 12:57:14 PM
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!

Fallout 4 Won’t Launch On The PC 11/26/2018 10:11:25 AM
Hello, this is really a helpful post and give the information which has its own importance, thanks for sharing this kind of information and keep sharing in the future too,

Sean Andrews 10/10/2018 5:07:53 PM
I was just wondering if there was a time limit on how long someone can record for? Is it all stored in the cloud?

Jason Carroll 10/10/2018 5:53:32 PM
Hi Sean, recordings are limited to 5 minutes and stored in the cloud.

kristy watkins 9/11/2018 12:27:17 PM
How do you slow down the voice when read aloud? Also can you change the voice?

Deena Kimmel 9/11/2018 1:31:37 PM
Hi Kristy! If you click on the purple arrow on the right-hand side of the toolbar, you can select the Options Tab. From there, if you go into Speech, you can change the Voice and the Speed. Thanks!

juan singre 4/25/2018 6:49:41 AM
esta aplicaciòn es excelente y funciona muy bien

Laurie Bullard 7/25/2017 5:05:40 PM
Love This...Plan to use with Lab Media's "Keeping It Reeal" EDU Program. This program is designed to help people at disadvantages (but all are welcome to join) to help them learn and grow. We have a few members that would benefit highly from this awesome PROGRAM! Thanks! Excellent Job Google!

Tham 7/20/2017 6:50:00 AM
When I tried get my students to use the send function, the following appears:

You must accept the permissions before you can send this recording to your teacher.

What does it mean? Is there anything I could do?

I am not using google classroom.


Ryan 5/17/2017 10:10:00 PM
i love read write

Aly 4/10/2017 3:22:52 PM
The recordings disappear after a certain number of days? We wanted to keep them as a portfolio of growth. Any chance that can be changed?

Ruth Houston 4/11/2017 8:42:16 AM
Hi Aly,

Fluency Tutor for Google keeps recordings until they are deleted.

If you're using Practice Reading Aloud, switching to Fluency Tutor and you can keep all of your recordings.

If you need any further assistance, please get in touch.


Ava Baynham { proposed like baynam } 4/6/2017 4:14:41 AM
This is so cool

michael tran 3/13/2017 4:44:38 PM
how do I install this ??

Isabella 2/23/2017 2:30:15 PM
I think this product is so COOL !!!!!

Alexa 2/16/2017 10:14:27 PM
i love your producktet

katie seaver 1/10/2018 7:04:34 PM
how do you get it on your crome book

raphaelle sylvain 2/13/2017 3:42:09 PM
bravo contunue a bien travailler

Tracy 11/3/2016 4:39:12 PM
Google u r the best! This will really help understanding things

Deena Kimmel 11/3/2016 5:00:01 PM
Great to hear Tracy! Thanks from everyone at Texthelp!

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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