Microsoft Immersive Reader: Basics

1. What is IR?

It’s another very efficacious free literacy tool developed by Microsoft. It is helpful to beginning readers, foreigners, and students with learning difficulties. And it is helpful to young students, all having fertile minds, in learning a foreign language.

 

​2. What features does IR have?

It can dynamically change the size of text and adjust spacing between lines. It provides various colors to make text stand out. It can syllabicate blocks of words at once. It can highlight and label various parts of speech. And it can add pictures to text.

3. How many languages does IR function with?

It is fully functional with the 14 flag languages on our website, and semi functional to various degrees with some 44 more languages. 

4. Which TL memberships are suitable to be used with IR?

Turquoise Membership, having lullabies and nursery rhymes, Diamond Membership having Classic Stories, and Gold Membership having Multilinguals.  

5. What are the steps to access IR?

The very first step the user should take is to make sure that she's currently using the same TTS voice that she will be using in her IR learning session. If not, she must change it, for it cannot be changed once she’s on the IR platform. The next step is to select some text with her mouse. For example, on the “Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes” tab under “Classic Songs,” she could select the first stanza of “Hush Little Baby.” Then she should right click on her selection, then left click on "Open in Immersive Reader." Alternatively, after selecting some text, she could have clicked on the Immersive Reader icon, an open book, were it present. When present, it appears on the second toolbar from the top. 

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6. What does the student see when entering IR?

She’ll see her selected nursery rhyme on the screen as well as four headings on the toolbar above it. From right to left on it, there are Reading preferences, Grammar Tools, Text preferences, and Reading aloud.

​​7. Which Reading preferences are there?

Under Reading preferences she’ll see a dialog box with three headings. Line Focus which highlights one, two, or more lines at a time. The Picture Dictionary, which is extremely helpful, especially to children with (ASD) Autism Spectrum Disorder. It supplies a picture whenever its “magical wand” touches one of the active words. And Translate can convert the chosen story into another language. However, as mentioned in #5 above, she shouldn’t do this unless she had previously activated the corresponding TTS voice of her choice. 

8.  Which Grammar Tools does IR provide?

IR provides two Grammar Tools: one syllabicates words and the other identifies various parts of speech. Syllabication helps beginning readers sound out words, and Parts of speech helps older students learn to write.

9. Which features are in Text preferences?

There are three Text preferences. To wit―Text size, Text spacing, and Page themes.​

 

Parents should make their selections according to the individual needs of their children. As choices are made, the text will adjust instantaneously. Page themes are merely colored pages. They offer a cheerful alternative to common white pages.   

10. What function does Read aloud have?

Read aloud has no function other than to activate the preselected TTS voice and highlight the text as it is read.

 

11. Where are the voice controls?

They will pop up above the text. They are the same three carets seen elsewhere on the same 3rd toolbar from the top.

12. Is the mouse also used with the Read aloud feature?

​Yes, but only with the carets, not the text.

13. How does one change preferences?

Either by right clicking on the text page and then on “Refresh,” or by clicking on Control + R at the same time.   

 

14. How does one exit IR?

Either by right clicking on the text page and then left clicking on “Exit Immersive Reader,” by clicking F9 on the keyboard, or by clicking the Immersive Reader icon.

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