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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Do you practice conversation with your mobile ?

Tip on how to practice your speaking and conversation using your smart phone - Speaking Pal App
It offers a variety of topics, such as interview, checking in on a hotel, trying to find a cab, among others.

The great feature for a basic learner is the grading sequence of the exercises.
First you listen to the model conversation and observe features such as intonation, pronunciation and even body language. Next you have the chance to interact with the avatar. 

Most of the act out dialogues offer two possibilities of answers to choose from. 
As you speak the App records your voice and give you a color-coded feedback. Green meaning great, red meaning in need of improvement.
At the end there's a line by line feedback and the opportunity to listen to your recorded pronunciation and the model pronunciation from the native speaker of that particular scene. 
In my point of view it's great to complement what you learn in your regular English course.
You can try out the situations you study during your classes when you don't have your teacher around !
Of course, the App alone won't teach you, the thing is that it's a clever and well-developed way of keeping in touch outside the classroom :)

I tested it myself and I also see benefits for upper intermediate students onwards, in terms of testing the intelligibility of their pronunciation.
So, if you are an upper intermediate or even an advanced student of English as a foreign language, I strongly recommend giving it a try.
The App is free for the trial period of a year and it gives you access to some of the topics offered, enough for a test drive. If  it's a great deal for you then you must pay for full access.
Students from all levels can benefit from a pleasant and useful interaction with the App. Best part : Immediate feedback on your pronunciation and intonation ! A great complement to your English studying routine!


Extra tip :
From the same developer there's also : Speaking Pal Plus TOEIC*. It has a testing approach, without the avatar interaction and in the free trial version it provides a sample of questions based on the exam. There are also listening practice exercises. The thing is, you can have free access only during a month in this version.


*TOEIC  Test of English for International Communication measures the ability of non-native English-speaking examinees to use English in everyday workplace activities.
More info on: https://www.ets.org/toeic

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