Learning Supports for Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing
This page provides concrete examples of how Speak Agent embeds supports for listening, speaking, reading, and writing throughout the platform. Please note that this list is by no means exhaustive and we are always adding to it.
Text-to-speech is everywhere in Speak Agent. Students can access audio playback at any time for all instructions, stories, answer choices, hints, words, sentences, and even student-created content. Students may choose from five audio playback speeds. In addition, all text is screen reader-compatible. By converting text into audio, the feature aids English Learners, emergent readers, and students with dyslexia and other reading disorders.
Listening Embedded into Activities
Listening is embedded in many activities in Speak Agent either as an explicit task, as reinforcement, and/or as a student-activated support. This video shows one example of a sentence processing activity called Scrambled Sentences. In this activity, students first listen to a brief story. Then they piece the story back together one sentence at a time. At each stage they listen to the sentences that they solve and the story parts that they recreate. Speak Agent includes a similar activity for word parts (e.g, syllables and affixes) that supports younger grades and newcomer ELLs.
In My Voice, students listen and repeat words, phrases or sentences. This strategy helps move knowledge from short-term to long-term memory and also builds phonological and morphological awareness. Students are provided with three "takes" and may then pick their favorite take to share with a teacher. The favorite take is also stored in the student's digital portfolio. This activity can be done with a partner.
Describing Diagrams and Images
In this activity, students describe the elements of diagrams, process steps, life cycles, maps, models, and other types of visual representations. All voice recordings are stored in the student's digital portfolio.
Here's an example of an open-ended question where students can record their ideas. All voice recordings are stored in the student's digital portfolio.
Interactive Word Walls
Speak Agent provides seven different text sizes. These are present in every type of story-based activity on the platform. Students can choose the text size that best fits their needs with a single press or click. They may adjust the size at any time on any page.
Lights Out is a visual reading aid that dims the entire screen except for the specific area being read. This helps students who have vision needs and can also help students to focus attention on the text. To exit Lights Out mode, the reader simply clicks or taps anywhere on the screen.
Students may highlight any text they wish in any of four primary colors. This strategy supports tracking when reading. Readers can also use highlighting to categorize things like textual elements, literary techniques, and trouble words.
Sentence Frames and Writing Models
Sentence frames and writing models provide scaffolds for students to improve academic writing.
Visual Word Banks
Immediate Feedback on Writing