Text to Speech.

About 15 to 20 years ago Textaloud Mp3 was put on the market. At this time I installed it on the Library computers and each student doing written assignments and story writing was told to have the computer read their work before they submitted it to the teacher for assessment.

The outcome of this exercise was that students always went back and re-edited their work always went back and re-edited their work and in some cases re-edited several times till they presented a quality piece of work.

The good part of this was that the teacher did not have to keep telling the student 'go back and fix' in fact telling the students became considerably less as the students could hear bad grammar much more affectively than they can recognise bad grammar through reading.

When working in an ESL/EFL environment it quickly becomes obvious that students both hearing and reading instructions will understand content much quicker.

To this end this teacher was pleased to see that Text to Speech is also offered as a block in Moodle so it is being added to any pages that appear wordy.

Adding tools like this to the web page ensures the students can control what they are listening to and learning. They can also have many tools like dictionaries and glossaries at their finger tips to use on the website page.

I am trying to limit confusion without limiting challenges. Certainly in an EFL not giving the student too much information environment confusion through lack of understanding can be damaging if the student thinks they know something and continue their learning with an erroneous understanding. This is the reason I tell students that the most intelligent student is the one who knows their is a quesition to ask.

The challenge of course is to stop the confusion but keep the questions alive by not giving the student too much information.

As an aside many staff whom I introduced to this were very critical saying the voice sounds terrible (at that time much worse) but the end results was still, that the students liked using it and improved their work quality a substantial amount. Trying to explain to some teachers that it is the students who are important, how the teachers feel about something is irrelevant when the work quality of the students is considerably improved.