All You Need to Know About Microsoft Immersive Reader

All You Need to Know About Microsoft Immersive Reader 

Microsoft Immersive Reader is a highly interactive reading tool specifically designed to help students improve their reading, understanding and grammar skills. It also makes the texts more accessible to students of all levels.

As it works with other popular Microsoft programs, it is easy to implement within your classroom. Microsoft Immersive Reader is available at no cost.

Microsoft Immersive Reader

 

Microsoft Immersive Reader is known for its capacity to help students in their readings. It reads texts aloud to students and simultaneously highlights the word being read. Additionally, allows the text to become accessible to students of all ages and abilities. It also helps emerging readers learn to recognize new words.

Microsoft Immersive Reader let you choose different narration speeds and voices.Users can easily adjust the spacing between words and font size and highlight specific parts of the sentences, such as nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs and more. It also allows users to break down the text into syllables, hear audio recordings of words spoken in different languages, translate text, and see words represented as images.

The word written can be viewed by readers of all types: children, young people, adults, the elderly, the visually impaired, dyslexics and readers with a mother tongue other than that in which the text is written, to name a few.

Words are written to communicate something. Some words you can learn from, certain to be entertained by, and other words. For example, a label on a button of a computer program is vital to understand how to use it.

For instance, if you get a message that says "jsfh alkf afsjk," and you must choose between two options, either "kjh" or "jklj". When text does not make sense, you are likely to get frustrated. But then Immersive Reader comes to your rescue.

Immersive Reader is one such tool that can play the written text as sound, and for some, that would make the text that initially was difficult to read and understandable. It can translate that complex text into over 60 different languages, and translation becomes "Will you attend the parent meeting?" 

It can also translate the original text into another language.

What else can Immersive Reader do?

Its features help you read documents in a way that can improve your reading speed and comprehension:

  • alter font size and style: alter the spacing of words and sentences
  • change background colours
  • listen to text read aloud while reading: customize the voice and playback speed
  • highlight each word as it is spoken: this helps with reading speed and comprehension
  • turn on and customize a reading ruler
  • view text in other languages: toggle between English and another language
  • identify nouns, verbs and adjectives and see dictionary definitions

It does have features that can benefit everyone:

  • Customize text size, spacing and background colour
  • Isolate content to improve readability
  • Display pictures for common words
  • Highlight nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs
  • Real text aloud
  • Translate content in real-time
  • Split words into syllables

How to Use Microsoft Immersive Reader?

These steps are for the online version, free of charge. If you need guidance on using it from a different source (i.e. word), the Resources section on the Microsoft Immersive Reader contains the information.

Guide:

The location where one enters one's text for using Microsoft Immersive Reader in the browser.

  • Click the play button at the end of your screen to read the text aloud.
  • You can exit by tapping the up-left arrow.
  • There are three symbols at the top right corner, each opening their respective menus with different options.

 These are the three menus, from right to left: text preferences, grammar options, and reading preferences.

Text Preferences

The first of the three menus in the top-right provides options for text display parameters, including: 

  • Text size(type size). 
  • Font Style. 
  • Themes(Small changes in colour palettes). 

Grammar Preferences

The second of the three menus on the top right offers options to explore grammar:

  • View different parts of the speech in customizable colours.
  • View syllables.

Reading Preferences

The third of the three menus at the top-right provides options to change the text:

  • Line focus adjusts the display while the texts are being read.
  • Enabling/disabling the image dictionary will enable/disable the image dictionary (clicking on certain words will show an image representation of the word).
  •  Language translation enables you to translate a single word or the whole text. 

Video Support/Tutorial:

 

How can Microsoft Immersive Reader help teachers and students? 

Microsoft Immersive Reader works seamlessly perfect, and since it is a Microsoft product, many teachers and students are already familiar with the Microsoft programs. E.g., to access Immersive Reader on Microsoft Word, users click on 'View' then select Immersive Reader. Next on the bottom of the screen is a 'play button. Next to that is a gear to pick the voice of your choice and set a speaking pace.

Furthermore, menu options for text preferences, grammar options, and reading preferences are on the upper right-hand side of the screen.

  • Text preferences allow you to adjust the font size and increase the spacing between words, which may help some readers to see the text better.
  • Grammar options help you highlight different parts of your speech.
  • Reading preferences allow you to pick the language of your choice. Immersive Reader also provides an option that focuses on only a few lines of text at a single time, cutting down on distractions for certain students. 

Microsoft Immersive Reader Tips and Tricks for Educators

Helpful for Mathematics

Although Immersive Reader is mainly a reading tool, it can read numbered mathematics problems. The immersive player can be helpful for visually impaired students who need accommodation and those who tend to learn better from audio.

Assist students to learn the pronunciation

Using Microsoft Immersive Reader, students find out how to pronounce certain words they are not familiar with. This will help expand their vocabulary and ability to spell out in real-time.

Encourage Students to Self-Assess themselves

Using the Highlight function of Immersive Reader, teachers can teach students how to recognize certain words. In addition, there are many applications in class; for example, you can have your students read out a short paragraph and mark each verb in the paragraph. Next, set the immersive Reader to highlight the verbs as they are read. Students may self-evaluate the number of verbs they missed and why. 

Make reading accessible to all learners

As mentioned earlier, Immersive Reader is designed to assist students at all reading levels. With its translation capabilities, students can learn a new language or a second language. Furthermore, its features may help those who require written visual language.

Help Learn Foreign Languages

With its translating feature, teachers can translate phrases and provide picture representations of words that students are unfamiliar with. Instruct students to analyze the accuracy of translations. Microsoft Immersive Reader can also highlight different parts of the speech such as nouns, verbs and adjectives of the text in a different language.

Know the Shortcuts

  • Up/Down arrow scrolls line by line. 
  • Page Up/Page Down scrolls screen by screen. 
  • The left/Right arrow goes to the previous/next page in your OneNote Notebook. 
  • Esc key closes the Reader or menu.
  • Tab advances to the following control in Immersive Reader settings.
  • Space selects the current tool.

For your next classroom, do try Microsoft Immersive Reader and let us know your experience. 

About the Author
Author: Saniya Khan
Saniya Khan I am Saniya Khan, Copy-Editor at EdTechReview - India’s leading edtech media. As a part of the group, my aim is to spread awareness on the growing edtech market by guiding all educational stakeholders on latest and quality news, information and resources. A voraciously curious writer with a dedication to excellence creates interesting yet informational pieces, playing with words since 2016.

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