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Can computer speech support reading comprehension?

Computers in Human Behavior
Elsevier BV
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0747-5632(93)90012-h
  • Design


Abstract Reading is basically an interactive process where the reader actively constructs meaning from text. One major obstacle for successful reading comprehension among poor readers is related to problems with decoding of individual words encountered in the text. A computer-based system for dealing with this obstacle has been designed. Using a program developed for the IBM-PC/AT and a Scandinavian multilingual text-to-speech unit, the reader of a text file can easily request immediate pronunciation of a problem word encountered. The system was evaluated in a training study with reading-disabled students on different grade levels. The results indicated that older students gained more from the computer-aided reading than did younger ones. One reason for this differential effect might be related to the metacognitive demands implied by the request option. However, the interactive feature of the support system also seems to promote metacognitive development.

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