The STIL (Speech Technology for Improved Literacy)-project aims to develop and evaluate an intervention based on speech-to-text (STT) technology to improve writing skills among Norwegian 8th, 9th and 10th grade students with low literacy achievement. STT software uses speech recognition technology to convert verbal language into digital text. Although speech technology has been available for years, accessibility and quality of the technology has until recently been rather poor. STIL is a pilot study, were we aim to gather knowledge on how speech technology can be implemented into the classroom and evaluate the research design.
Until recently, speech technology has only been available to some students with special educational needs. Today, it is a tool available across several digital platforms, and to all teachers and students. In the STIL-project, the technology will first be introduced to the teachers, who will discuss how and when speech technology may be implemented into their curriculum. Successively,all students at the participating schools will be introduced to the technology by their teacher.
Speech technology enables students to produce text in an alternative manner. Compared to handwritten texts, or text typed on a keyboard, speech technology provides a compensatory effect by reducing barriers caused by poor orthography (e.g., spelling and punctuation) skills. We further propose that more frequent, positive experiences with writing across the curriculum will lead to increased willingness to write and higher self-efficacy beliefs. In the STIL-project our aim is to discover how speech technology influences the student’s literacy skills and their attitudes towards writing. Among other approaches, we will collect student’s texts and consider elements such as the word count, fluency, text agreement, structure and spelling.