Published on March 27th, 2017 | by Varuna Singh0
Microsoft’s new assistive learning tools now available for Arabic
New assistive learning tools from Microsoft now support Arabic in office apps online. The tools are designed for students with unique learning needs and are part of Microsoft’s online office apps: Word Online and OneNote Online. These Learning Tools in Arabic compromises of:
- Text-to-speech (Read Aloud) – Reads Arabic text aloud with simultaneous highlighting that improves decoding, fluency and comprehension while sustaining the readers focus and attention.
- Spacing – Optimizes font spacing in a narrow column view to improve reading fluency for users who suffer from visual crowding issues.
- Syllables – Shows the breaks between syllables to enhance word recognition and decoding.
- Parts of Speech – Supports writing instruction and grammar comprehension by identifying verbs, nouns and adjectives.
These new tools are definitely in the right direction and is something that I could see being useful throughout the office suite. It seems these features are only available online only and it will probably take time until the next update of Office suite to reflect this to Office 365 customers.
The Immersive features help skill up reading for users, including those with dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, emerging readers or a combination of the broad range of unique student abilities.
“At Microsoft, we understand the effort of teaching a classroom of students with different abilities, and it is challenging to find and maintain the assistive technologies that teachers need for students to succeed.” Said Ahmed Ameen Ashour, Education Director, Microsoft Gulf. “The Learning Tools in Arabic will help students with learning differences from the region to improve their reading and writing skills”.
By integrating into a tool such as OneNote that is already used in the classroom, the Learning Tools make it easy for teachers to improve learning outcomes for all students, with less disruption or lost instructional time.
You can further see Microsoft’s efforts in their other accessible technologies in this document here.