Slowing audio narration for non-first language learners

Sep 25, 2013

I have received a suggestion, for a learning program I am rolling out into Phase 2, that some option be included to listen to a "slower speaker" (by way of background, the program has global reach, and this feedback is coming from those who speak English as a second language. One of the reviewers has indicated that she has had an experience with a voice-over that can speed up or slow down, without brutal voice distortion.)

Any suggestions on how to approach this challenge, besides having multiple narrations?  Anyone ever figured out how mutliple narrations could be grabbed via a selection box in Articulate output?

5 Replies
Mike Taylor

Hi Todd! Welcome to the E-Learning Heroes community.  Audacity (and other audio editors) has an option for slowing down your narration. (Change tempo

As for switching between the normal and slower version I think this thread covers pretty well how to handle different versions of audio. (The thread is English/Spanish but the concept is the same. )

Let us know if that works for what you want to do or if you have any questions along the way. 

Todd Kasenberg

Thanks, Mike, for the Welcome.  I must have another account around here, because this isn't my first foray into the forums, sorry about that!

Actually, I'm wondering if there are any options around sound with Articulate Presenter '09.  (I suppose I'm confessing that while Storyline intrigues me, I am more excited about the possibilities of Presenter '13, and waiting patienly...).  Any sound options like that with Presenter '09 that anyone is aware of?

Mike Taylor

Sorry about that Todd. There isn't a similar option in Presenter but depending on how you want it to work you could duplicate the slides with one version having the normal audio and the other the slower version.  Then you could set up the branching and hyperlinks so that they are able to choose which version they want.  If you wanted, you could even use hyperlinks to let them switch at any time. 

Would something like that work? 

Nina  Weinstein


I've done curriculum design, written textbooks, and taught English to non-native speakers for many years. I worked at a company where we used a technique called the "slow read".  The challenge is to make it sound natural, but this slow read is very popular. 

In addition, I always use captions on my videos (I transcribe them myself. I've found that "automatic" transcriptions have a lot of mistakes.). I also provide controls so they can stop at any point and listen again.

There are other issues that affect what language level the material targets -- vocabulary, sentence structure, sentence length, etc. 

I hope that's helpful.

Best regards,

Nina Weinstein

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