Text to Speech Apps for Bilingual Learners

Text to speech apps as assistive technology tools to support ELL and dual-language learners can come in different ways. Most likely, you have computer software or tablets to help students master specific language skills.

However, the idea of finding one text to speech app to accommodate most of the learning needs is not easy. While one app, software, or browser extension helps students in one area, that assistive tool may not help in other language learning goals.

So, when seeking text to speech educational tools, consider the level of learning that students will accomplish before implementing in lesson planning.

Assistive Technology Aid in Bilingual Classrooms

A bilingual classroom consists of many different types of learners. One learner may learn at a different pace than another.

While a specific student population in class may acquire those learning goals easily, other students need additional support. In particular, cases where students need the most educational help, assistive technology aids with learning, comprehension, and retention.

Often used with students with learning or physical disabilities, assistive technology helps language learners, too. Whether students need reinforcement of vocabulary or a deeper level of comprehension during reading, assistive technology bridges those gaps.

Regardless, assistive technology can help many students in different stages of learning. For example, a common approach is to use tech as an English-Spanish translator.

Another traditional way is to integrate different Lexile levels of reading with discrete sources of text passages. Perhaps, you might often observe that using one educational tool may not be the only source. You might have to use two or three resources to achieve a learning goal.

Communication Devices with Text to Speech

While text to speech or any other assistive technology tool is ideal from one particular software or app, that is not always the case. You might have to rely on different sources or combine them in several lessons to accomplish reading or other language skills.

Many tech apps or extensions are excellent sources that you can apply in your classroom without extensive training or coding. Besides, you want to seek for resources that are student-friendly and easy to use.

text to speech

Text to Speech App for Kids

  • Read and Write App

One of the most versatile educational tools available, the Read and Write app offers Android, iPad, MacOS, Windows, Chrome, and Edge text to speech assistance.

You can easily use this app on a web browser or for any offline documents. Students, at any reading level, can use the many features of text to speech to develop reading skills at their pace.

  • Natural Reader

Another versatile tech support for language learners is Natural Reader. Like a Swiss knife for campers, this assistive technology tool is available as a web app, Chrome extension, text to speech application, mp3 file converter, and software platform.

An excellent feature is the ability to convert text passage to audio, helping students read what they wrote.

  • Proloquo2Go from Assistive Ware

While an excellent app that you can download to your iPad, iPhone, or Apple Watch, this assistive tech tool is ideal for students that need more than text to speech help.

For example, the app has images and words or phrases that children can quickly identify. In this way, students can select the best option of buttons to communicate.

This app helps ELL and dual-language students to express their needs in English and Spanish without losing the one-to-one conversation.

  • Voice4u TTS

A simple version of text to speech is the Voice4u TTS. This tech tool uses built-in images and English-Spanish words for students to communicate.

A great feature is you can take a photo and add it to your database of images for future reference.

  • Proloquo4 Text

While the Proloquo4Go is an advance assistive tech tool, the Proloquo4 Text is a simple app that students can use.

With this app, students use a single-phase screen with built-in technology to learn your voice and what you type or say.

  • MText2Speech Translator

One of the most user-friendly forms of text to speech is the MText2Speech Translator. Students can easily use it as a translation of passages, documents, and recordings.

Using a Combination of Text to Speech Educational Tools

  • Speak – Speech Synthesizer

When you need a voice recorder, the Speak-Speech Synthesizer is the ideal tool. The app records your voice as you read a text so that students can listen to later.

  • Speak for Yourself

Whether language is a barrier for ELL or dual language students, the Speak for Yourself app has more than 11,000 images students can use.

Aside from using images, students can pair phrases and pictures in a few clicks to combine into statements.

  • PandaPal (AAC)

As an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) tool, the PandaPal helps students with a combination of words and phrases.

That is, students familiarize themselves with different images to make unique statements.

  • TouchChat HD

Another assistive tool that helps with language skills is TouchChat. With this app, students can use English-Spanish expressions to communicate.

  • Voice4u AAC

Much like other assistive tools, the Voice4u is ideal for students that need extra help with communicating in the classroom. You can also add icons with your pictures and words specific to your class or lesson.

Text to speech is a form of assistive technology that helps many students in a bilingual classroom. Besides the traditional English-Spanish translators, text to speech is available as a web app, browser extension, or even as software.

You can now help ELL and dual-language learners in the classroom in so many different ways. In this way, you can support students to achieve more than reading, but a foundation of learning.

Barbara Mascareno

Barbara is an educational writer, teacher, and instructional designer. She loves to write K-12 education content, teaching strategies, bilingual education approaches, and foreign language.

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