1. What is Immersive Reader?
It’s a free literacy tool developed by Microsoft. Although originally designed to help just students with dyslexia and dysgraphia, it's a boon to all students learning to read. Moreover, it is helpful to foreign speakers learning English, and to native English students studying any one of a host of foreign languages.
2. What can the Immersive Reader do?
It can read text aloud, increase spacing between words, change fonts, column size, and background colors. It can focus on one, three, or five lines at a time. It can look up definitions of English words and/or give access to foreign dictionaries. And it can translate English into four scores of other languages.
3. How do you put a story on the Immersive Reader platform?
As depicted below, merely select a story with your mouse, right click on it and choose "Open selection in Immersive Reader."
4. What do students see when entering the Immersive Reader platform?
On their screen they’ll see the story or poem they have selected as well as three headings on the toolbar above it. To wit-
5. Can you change the speed and perhaps the speaker too?
Yes, but not initially. You must wait to the TTS voice starts, then pause it. After which, a new toolbar will appear with navigation controls and voice options. See the photo below:
6. Can foreign languages be Read aloud?
Yes, whichever language you're using, just click Read aloud and the text will be read. However, if you want to hear the text in a different language, you must first go to Reading Preferences, then to Translate, where you can choose the language you want.
7. What are the Text preferences?
The Text preferences are Text size, Text Spacing, Choice of 3 fonts, and Choice of Page Themes (or backgrounds).
8. Which Reading preferences are there?
Under Reading preferences students see a dialog box with two headings. Line Focus that shows one, three, or five lines, and Translate that can translate text into a multitude of languages. See photo below:
9. Can the Web and the Sidebar be accessed?
Yes, practically any word can be seen by clicking either "Search the web for [the word]" or "Search the sidebar for [the word]." Below is an example of how helpful this feature can be when "Bedouin" in Story 254 is clicked on. See photo below.
10. How many languages does Immersive Reader support?
It can translate text in roughly 80 languages. Of this number, some 50-60 percent are audible.
11. How do you refresh the screen so you can look at another story?
Either click "Ctrl + R" or "Refresh" from the drop-down menu.
12. How do you exit Immersive Reader?
There are three ways: by right clicking on the text page then left clicking on “Exit Immersive Reader,” by clicking F9 on the keyboard, or by clicking on the Immersive Reaer icon on the second toolbar from the top.
13. Which memberships have access to Immersive Reader?
With a Turquoise Membership, you have access to Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes. With a Diamond Membership, you have to both Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes and Fables. And with a Palladium Membership, you have access to Multilinguals and the aforementioned products.
Accessing the Immersive Reader.
The URL totallyliterate.org must have the book icon after it. When the home page, as well as any other page, is accessed for the first time, it will look as it does in Figure A.
It should look like as it does Figure B.
Two ways to access the Immersive Reader
Tap on the menu (a ball-shaped figure with 3 horizontal lines in the header) and select Multilinguals, then refresh your screen.
Tap "With Heart and Mind Entwined," in the header. This will take you to Multilinguals, then refresh your screen.
* Note, Immersive Reader can be accessed initially only from the Multilinguals webpage.
Viewing Totally Literate in English under the American Flag
Once the book icon appears, it will remain visible as you surf from page to page.
Viewing Totally Literate in the other 13 Flag Languages
When you switch from one Flag Language to another, you must return to the Multilingual webpage and refresh your screen again to bring up the book icon.
Viewing Totally Literate in scores of other languages
When you're viewing the website in German, Spanish, or any other Flag Language, there will be an option that pops up momentarily to translate the language you're using into another language, as shown in Figure 1. However, if the Translate pop up disappears before you have decided whether to use it, you can tap the three parallel bars on the bottom right of your screen, which will trigger a menu to pop up. Then scroll down on the menu and retrieve the Translate option.
In this example, Spanish is the Flag Language, and Inuktitut is the language to view next. When you tap on Translate (in light blue in Figure 2), Spanish will be translated into Inuktitut. (Because this language is not supported by Microsoft, it cannot be read aloud, only in print. Most languages, however, are supported by Microsoft, thus can be read aloud.)
If you tap on "Show" in Figure 2, your display will revert to Spanish and look as it does in Figure 3.
Note: On the Mobile View, translating is simple. With or without the book icon present, you always have the opportunity to translate text. Whichever page you turn to, the translate option will be superimposed on the header. In other words, the pages will look similar to the three figures immediately below.
Ways to access Immersive Reader after initially accessing it.
One: Tap the plus sign (+) on the bottom center of your display. Then, in the next user box, tap the plus sign above "add" and type www.totallyliterate.org/multilinguals-highlighted-as-read-aloud. See Figure 4.
Two: Tap on the box next to the plus sign at the bottom of your screen. The number within the box signifies all the tabs you've visited since you last cleared them. Multilinguals is one of the tabs. So, tap on it. Then tap "done" on the bottom of your screen. That should put the book icon after the URL. However, you may have to refresh your screen again. See Figure 5.
Three: Tap on the three parallel bars on the bottom of your screen. Then, from the popup menu, tap "History," and select the current page. (You'll have to turn your phone horizontally to make sure that you're on the right page.) See Figure 6.
Four: Get on the Multilinguals webpage. Then tap the three parallel bars on the bottom right of your screen and choose "Collections." Then you will be able to add the current page to your Collections. From then on, whenever you want to get the book icon all you have to do is go to Collections and tap on that saved item.
When you switch languages, you must return to the Multilingual webpage and refresh your screen again to bring up the book icon.
The Immersive Reader webpage will look in Italian (in this example), as it does in Photo 1.
If you tap on the book icon, it will change into the Immersive Reader mode and look as it does in Photo 2.
If you tap the Translate icon, a popup menu will appear with a long list of languages to choose from. And it will look like it does in Photo 3, but longer.
To switch languages, scroll to the language you want then tap on Translate on the bottom of the popup menu.
If you tap the Read aloud icon, the speaker will begin to read the text, and the navigation tools will appear above the story, as depicted in Photo 4.
If you tap the double-A icon, a different popup menu will appear with many features to modify the way your document looks. See Photo 5.
Lastly, if you tap the Crescent moon icon, the background will default to black with white letters as depicted in Photo 6.