I’ve previously shared research that suggests we tend to not be good judges of our pronunciation, which leads me to be an advocate for online tools that provide immediate and automatic feedback on pronunciation (see THE BEST SITES FOR ONLINE PRONUNCIATION FEEDBACK – DO YOU KNOW OTHERS? for that research and various sites that offer that feature).
I recently learned about what I think may be the best online tool out there for this kind of support, and it can also be used for reinforcing vocabulary and grammar lessons – Speakable.
And, importantly, though you can purchase its premium features, its basic ones are free!
This is a rough description of how it works: A teacher creates an assignment (you can copy and paste one from Quizlet or find one created by another teacher on the site – or create your own). For example, I found one on food that I assigned to my class (it has a Google Classroom integration). Students saw a word, like apple, along with an image of an apple. Next, they clicked on “listen” and heard a voice saying “apple.” They then clicked record and said “apple.” Artificial Intelligence would then show what it heard – “apple” or “abble” or “attle.” The idea is that the student says the word correctly twice, and then moves to the next word.
From what I could tell, the feedback was exceptionally accurate.
Students liked it a lot.
As did I.
They plan on making a ton of improvements to the site in late May, including the ability to use video clips.
Though, for now at least, the free plan suits my purposes, here is how they describe the difference between the free and paid versions:
The free plan offers teachers the ability to create speaking assignments with instant feedback for students, while the paid plans unlock advanced features, such as gradebook access, in-depth student and assignment analytics, and our Google Classroom grade passback integration.
Speakable is going to be a big help to many of our students!