Almost Human Speech
The speech we use in WriteOnline sounds almost human and has a British English accent. Using speech in word processing is a proven way to get children to check their writing more often, and to go back and correct their mistakes themselves. These are exactly the skills we want children to develop as they become more confident writers.
Wrds are clearly highlighted as they are spoken, enabling your child to follow the words in the document as they are read.
Personalised settings for your child
If your child only needs speech occasionally, they can simply select the text they want to hear, and use the speech tool on the toolbar.
Alternatively, your child might benefit from hearing each sentence automatically as it is completed. Set this option in the User Preferences, and every time they enter a full stop (or ? or !), the last sentence is read aloud. This is a great way to ensure that they check their work as they go (and it's a great incentive to remember to punctuate too).
If your child has more difficulties, set WriteOnline to read every word as it is typed, or even every letter. You can also have any combination of the speech settings – for example, it can read every word automatically, and then also read out the full sentence when the full stop is entered.
Check before you write!
The speech is also active in the word predictor and the Wordbar. Here, your child can right-click (Mac: Ctrl-click) to listen to a word before they write it, helping them to find the words they want and gain confidence.