Learning Tools to improve reading and writing skills

Learning Tools are free tools that implement proven techniques to improve reading and writing for people regardless of their age or ability. Read more about Learning Tools' features and the products that offer them below, or select your product to get started.

Learning Tools features available in Microsoft products

Check languages supported by Learning Tools.

Feature

What it does

OneNote on Windows PC

OneNote Online

Word on Windows PC

Word Online

Office Lens on iPhone

Immersive Reader

Recognizes text from images and files

Reduces file length

X

X

X

X

Read Mode, also known as Focus Mode

Reduces line length

X

Read Aloud

Highlights words while reading them out loud

X

X

X

X

X

Spacing

Increases space between letters, words, and lines of text

X

X

X

X

X

Syllables

Separates words into syllables

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X

X

X

Comprehension

Highlights dependent clauses within sentences

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Parts of Speech

Shows verbs, nouns, and adjectives in different colors

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X

X

Dictate

Writes words as they are said with correct punctuation

X

Improving reading skills: Decoding, fluency, and comprehension

The research about reading identifies three separate reading skills: decoding, fluency, and comprehension.

Decoding: Understanding individual words by breaking them into meaningful pieces

Learning tools improve decoding by letting the reader see words highlighted at the same time they hear the words spoken. This implements research published in 2012 by Floyd and Judge.

Immersive Reader (OneNote, Office Lens on iPhone), and Read Mode with Read Aloud (Word) recognizes text from images, then highlights words as they are read out loud.

Sound segmentation, which is breaking written words apart into separate syllables, is an important part of decoding. Syllables (OneNote, Word) lets readers see words separated into syllables.

Fluency: Reading accurately and quickly

To increase accuracy, research published in 2012 by Zorzi showed 50% fewer reading errors when people with dyslexia increased spacing. To increase speed, research published in 2013 by Schneps showed a 27% increase in reading speed when using short line lengths.

Spacing (Word, Office Lens on iPhone, OneNote) allows readers to increase text spacing (including between letters, words, and lines of text), and shorten line length.

Comprehension: Understanding what you read

Comprehension is the ability to understand what you read. Comprehension can improve by 30% just by adding line breaks between clauses according to Graf & Torrey (1966).

Comprehension (OneNote desktop) shows grammatical clauses by adding brackets around dependent clauses. Parts of Speech, part of Comprehension, adds colored text for verbs, adjectives, and nouns.

Breaking words apart into syllables can increase reading comprehension by 10% , according to research by Yu-Chi Tai in a study supported by Microsoft. Syllables (OneNote, Word) lets readers see words separated into syllables.

Improving writing skills: Enhanced dictation

Learning tools improve writing skills by letting the author speak, and see words and sentences correctly spelled and punctuated. Writers can concentrate on organizing their thoughts, while absorbing the appropriate representation of those thoughts. Dictate is available in OneNote on Windows PCs.

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