Early readers and writers may struggle with remembering the sounds of each letter. Grade school or primary school children learning their phonics have to understand that each letter has a name (like “em” for M) and a sound (like “mmmmm” for M) that is sometimes different.
In Scandinavia ClaroRead has helped with this by echoing back the sound of each letter (“mmmmmm”) instead of the name (“em”) as you type it. As this feature has been very popular, we have decided to add it to the English version of ClaroRead 8.
English is particularly tricky because it has many inconsistencies and complex rules. For example, the letter C can be “suh” or “kuh” depending on the next letter (“circle” and “cup”). If the user has only typed one letter, do you say “suh” or “kuh”? We generally believe that your assistive software should never mislead you – better to keep quiet.
Over the last twenty years, however, synthetic phonics has grown in importance for learning and teaching English. Children are regularly taught letter sounds (“mmm”), not names (“em”), and are accustomed to changing the letter sound when new letters and rules apply. Having our software echo back letter sounds, not names, is now normal and useful.
How to Access this Feature
Go into Settings > Advanced Speech and turn on “Characters”, then “Wav sounds for letters”. You can choose Male or Female letter sounds. Then, when you type you’ll hear “ah” “buh” “kuh” instead of “ay” “bee” “see”. We hope this will be useful for early readers, younger children or people starting to learn English.
Note: Do not forget to choose the English language as the main language. Only the female voice is available at the moment for this option with the English language.
Why not to try the new ClaroRead Windows 8 today?
Download a free 15-day trial version of our software. For the best experience, download one or more high-quality human-sounding TTS voices as well as ClaroRead.