Microsoft Immersive Reader
Field of activity – formal/informal/non-formal:
Free Microsoft Learning Tool available for use with several Microsoft products including Edge, Word, OneNote, Outlook and Office Lens
Implementing organization/lead organization:
The Intercultural Centre of the city of Turin
Challenge or social need:
The teaching dealt with aspects of Italian that are particularly problematic when taking driving lessons, especially with regard to specialist language:In the case of L2 learners, the students must understand a text that presents difficulties beyond their linguistic level.
It is not a question of understanding, or of speaking, nor of reading or writing taken individually and successively one after another, but of all these skills considered simultaneously and intertwining with one another, one in the other in an ‘amalgam’ of meaning and signifying form, of a profound disciplinary content and a specialized terminological lexicon on the surface, which can be placed on a continuous scale ranging from the most complete and indecipherable opacity to the fullest and clearest transparency.
As regards the learners’ profile, specific challenges relating to the teaching of adults were given consideration, for example, that adults require different teaching methods, given that they feel socially and intellectually on a par with the teacher and are therefore not willing to indulge in ‘acts of faith’.
Microsoft’s Immersive Reader is a free tool to assist with reading and comprehension. It provides a full-screen reading experience and improves the focus on the text by changing font size and style, text and line spacing and background colour.
It is designed to increase readability of text in Microsoft applications through the use of assistive technology accommodations for people with print disabilities such as dyslexia, dysgraphia and vision impairment. It’s an interactive reading tool designed to help students improve their reading, comprehension and grammar skills. It also makes texts more accessible to learners at any level. Immersive Reader can be used alongside the Accessibility Checker to improve the layout of documents, or can be used to make a document more accessible without editing the document further.
Immersive Reading operation: it reads texts aloud to students while simultaneously highlighting the word being read. This allows the text to become accessible to students of different ages and abilities and helps emerging readers learn to recognize new words. Whit it is possible to choose different narration speeds and voices. Users can also adjust the spacing between words and font size; highlight specific parts of speech, such as nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs; break apart the text of words into syllables; hear audio recordings of words spoken in different languages; translate text and see words represented as pictures.
Benefits/success factors/ measurement of success:
- Immersive Reading is especially helpful for students with vision impairments and print disabilities and students needing additional help with reading.
- The language options are useful for students to hear and view text in their native language.
- Immersive Reader help students with Dyslexia or ADHD to decode and focus on the text by using the options included.
- It consents to upload classroom materials for students to use for help in understanding difficult text.
- It improves comprehension and sustains attention.
- The major benefits for students with this tool are improved reading, strengthened writing and optimised classroom time.
Current research is showing that Immersive Reading is not just a superior form of entertainment, but that it is genuinely beneficial to reading skills. In the long term, this tool may become indispensable for teaching.
As a free online tool that can also be used by students with learning difficulties, Immersive Reader is easily transferable and usable anywhere and in any type of education.
Inclusive characteristics/Innovative elements:
- Increases fluency for English language learners or readers of other languages.
- Helps build confidence in emerging readers who are learning to read at higher levels.
- Offers text decoding solutions to students with learning difficulties such as dyslexia.