Read Aloud for Reading & Listening Activities

Introduction

Language instructors are already challenged to teach a social subject, fully online, as lock downs continue into 2021.  Any relief that technology can offer with tangible results, using a simple tool should be welcomed in the language education community.   The Read Aloud Moodle plug-in assists students and instructors by providing individualized listening, reading and pronunciation activities. Simply, students read a passage, then Read Aloud’s AI evaluates the audio file, data is provided to the teacher and the teacher can use this data to assist the student with their reading skill. Educators can also use this data to benchmark their students’ oral reading abilities. Read Aloud saves teachers time and energy as students engage with Read Aloud in an individualized fashion, and feedback is provided to learners and the instructors. Students can repeat activities for mastery purposes if the instructor provides this opportunity. Read Aloud provides four learning events, which will are detailed in the sections below.

Benefits of Read Aloud

  • Oral reading practice for learners
  • Oral reading benchmarking
  • Reading skill development
  • Listening practice
  • Pronunciation practice
  • Automatic or manual grading for tasks
  • Performance reports
  • Reading fluency and accuracy enhancement
  • instructors choose the reading content

Setting up a Read Aloud Activity

  1. Paste or type a reading into the Read Aloud widget
  2. Set alternative terms such as possible mistakes or better words made by the Read Aloud app
  3. Set pre-attempt directions and post-attempt instructions
  4. Set desired speed (words per minute) *To earn full marks, students must score at least this rate
  5. Set/customize the activity experience such as number of attempts pre-reading listening modelling
  6. Set Chunking reading if desired
  7. Set a time limit for the reading activity.  (this can be set to No for lower levels)
  8. Record your voice or use TTS (Text-to-Speech)
  9. Link the activity to other activities in the Moodle course

Activity Types

Activity Type 1, Listening

The students listen to a passage though their head phones. This activity provides learners with an individual listening activity for familiarization, modelling or comprehension. It is the teacher who decides the speed of the reading, the region of origin and gender of the speaker, if the speaker is a computer generated and how the listening activity is wrapped or sequenced in a lesson.

Activity Type 2, Reading chunks

In this activity, students listen to a logical chunk of text. This is normally a full sentence but is determined by the instructor before the learners attempt the activity. The students are then prompted to read the sentence into a microphone where Read Aloud determines if the pronunciation is acceptable. This activity is a great way to build reading confidence and to pinpoint problematic pronunciation. It also allows for realistic repetition as the chunks are short unlike the effort required to repeat a paragraph.

Activity Type 3, Shadow Reading

Students in this activity read along with the model, whether it is a recorded teacher or a Text-to-Speech.

Activity Type 4, Reading at a natural pace

Students read the text on the screen at their natural pace. The pronunciation and speed are assessed by Read Aloud. After the AI analysis is complete, the students can listen to their recording see their reading speed in words per minute, see and review the identified mistakes and see their accuracy score. If enabled, students can try to read the passage again.

Final Thoughts

Instructors that use Moodle as an LMS and have the Read Aloud plug-in installed, can take advantage of Read Aloud’s activities, automated reading assessment, generated reports and independence mode of engagement. If you have used Read Aloud with learners, it would be interesting to hear about your experiences in the comments link.

Resources

Read Aloud Overview Video https://youtu.be/4GK_zU72qtQ

Moodle Documents Read Aloud, https://docs.moodle.org/310/en/Poodll_Read_Aloud

Moodle Plug-ins Directory, https://moodle.org/plugins/mod_readaloud

Poodll Read Aloud, https://poodll.com/plugin-poodll-readaloud

John Allan
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John Allan

John is a Canadian who writes about learning object development and online facilitation from a teacher's perspective.

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