mohamed_hassan / Pixabay

 

Generally, when my ELL Beginner students go on the computer, they use one of  my Thematic Lists For Beginner ELLs (depending on which theme we’re studying at the time) or one of the other sites at the “All-Time Best” list I wrote for the British Council.

This year, I haven’t really pushed students to use online tools for pronunciation improvement because our antiquated computers and District content filter system have regularly combined in the past to make it difficult for students to record audio.  I’ve also found that pretty much the only site out there that has been effective with improving punctuation has been English Central because it offers students immediate feedback on how well they did (the issue with English Central is that, though they offer a fair number of videos for free, you have to pay for their best ones – I currently have an email out to them about how much a small classroom subscription would cost).  There are sites that let you listen to a phrase, record it, and then puts it on you to compare the two, but I just didn’t think they helped students much (you can find several of them at The Best Sites To Practice Speaking English) .

Now, because of a new study that came out today, I know the reason those “ungraded” tools don’t help much!

Linguistics: The pronunciation paradox from Science Daily is a summary of the research. I’d encourage you to read it, and it basically says the individuals generally believe their pronunciation is the best – we’re not able to be accurate judges. The research emphasizes the importance of receiving more objective feedback.

Reading about that study pushed me to (1) email English Central to check on their most recent prices and, (2) explore if there were any other similar tools out there. I found SpeechAce, which doesn’t use videos like English Central, but does give similar pronunciation feedback. Like English Central, some of its exercises are free and others require a fee.

ELSA is a speaking app that give immediate feedback on pronunciation.

HOW COULD I HAVE NOT KNOWN THAT GOOGLE OFFERS FREE A.I. POWERED FEEDBACK ON THE PRONUNCIATION OF ANY WORD?

Peaksay Pronunciation Game has users repeat phrases and uses AI to “grade” its accuracy.

Do you know of other sites that use software/Artificial Intelligence to provide speakers with immediate feedback on their pronunciation?