Mini-Guide: Amazon Whispersync for Voice

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Amazon Whispersync for Voice
Platform/Console: LWK Recommended Age: 8+ Thinking Skills Used: , Academic Skills Used:

Whispersync for Voice is a narration service provided by Amazon and Audible for a selection of Kindle books. This usual incurs an additional fee, though there are some free classics include free narration. Amazon also scans your previous Kindle purchases to find those with Audible narration. This enables readers to switch between reading the e-book themselves or having Whispersync read the book to them. The Whispersync service tracks the page the reader is on and starts the narration from that page. LW4K recommends this service for readers ages 8 and up based on the selection of books with narration.


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Amazon Whispersync helps kids practice and improve the following skills:

Amazon Whispersync for VoiceFocus

Getting started and then maintaining attention and effort to tasks.

The narration service provided by Amazon Whispersync offers a great opportunity to practice the focus thinking skill. Reading a book, whether in print or in electronic form, carries an inherent need to focus on the print specifically and the story as a whole. This requires the reader to be able to ignore internal and external distractions or risk loosing track of what is happening in the story, as well as the deeper meanings of individual words and character development. For those who typically have trouble maintaining focus while reading, the narration also highlights the word being read, providing extra assistance staying focused for those who need it.

Working Memory

Recalling and retaining information in our minds while working.

Reading of any sort also helps strengthen working memory. With the Whispersync option, not only does the reader have the opportunity to remember characters and plots, but they also work on their visual memory by learning and remembering new words. When the Audible narration is turned on and a new word is encountered, a user will see it highlighted and hear it spoken at the same time. This gives the user the chance to tie both the visual and the auditory cues to the memory. If they successfully use this thinking skill while using Whispersync, they can improve their memory--and their vocabulary--at the same time.

Reading

Reading--and being read to--are the best ways to improve reading skills. Whispersync allows the chance for the user to engage in either method. This means that users can read books that wouldn't normally hold their attention, or that might normally be above their reading level, by turning on the narration and letting Whispersync read it to them. Whole new books--and their worlds--will be opened up. The more books at a readers fingertips, the more reading they will do, and the better their reading skills will become.

Whispersync also provides the chance to improve reading comprehension. When narration is turned on, not only is there the added bonus of the words being highlighted, but the user will get to hear the intonation, emotion, and emphasis the narrator places on different syllables and words. This all helps provide additional context clues to the user that wouldn't otherwise be there. The more context clues, the more chances the reader has to understand what is being read. After enough practice, the reader will be able to "hear"--and understand--books in this manner even when there isn't a narrator.

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