The pool of opportunities has now open its gate wider than ever. The rules of the game are getting fairer and fairer. More and more people are now sitting at their home working with overseas teams and clients. Backgrounds and origins now matter less and less. The opportunities are right there. However, they aren’t meant for everybody. Not even for many, just a selected few. A selected few who has what it takes to be part of the game: the ability to present himself well to the world.
In which, communication is a vital part.
A brief introduction to ELSA
Standing for English Language Speech Assistant, ELSA is a Siri-like application built to help non-native English speakers wishing to improve their English speaking competence by identifying the pronunciation errors and recommending fixes in real-time.
Through regular interaction with the app, which acts as a accent-reduction coach (available anytime, anywhere of course), users can gradually correct their mistakes and speak more like native speakers.
Founded by a team of language learning and education experts who themselves have been studying and working in the US for years and years, ELSA was published on iOS and Android markets – to address a pain that is impactful but has forever been overlooked. Values and missions recognized, ELSA was awarded the best ed-tech startup in 2016 at the SXSWedu Launch competition. It has now been serving more than 50,000 users worldwide, a good percentage of which reported to witness the improvement in their speaking skills after only 3 weeks of using the application.
How ELSA can serve you best
Very much honored by the love and support of our users, we at ELSA, however, do understand that the way the app functions can be relatively new to some of our users. Thus, we decided to write this article to explain how you can use ELSA most effectively, and, within months or even weeks, come close to mastering the art of fluent English speaking.
1 – Following the curriculum (which is divided into topics like Love, Travel or Business)
The lessons presented in the app follow a specific curriculum suggested and advised by language experts. To learn the English pronunciation effectively, you need to master the very small components first, which are phonemes. How “sh” should be pronounced differently from “s”, how “e” is not similar to “ee”. Once mastering this, you will be directed to learn about word stress and sentence stress (or, intonation). These will not only help you speak the words more correctly but also help make your sentence sound more natural. The lessons follow a strict study roadmap which ensures that users can get the best out of their time spent practicing with ELSA.
Here’s how you’re going to learn the lessons:
- ELSA will speak the sample word / sentence first, then it’s your turn to speak it yourself.
- After you’ve done speaking, ELSA will analyze the recording and return the results whether you have the correct pronunciation or not.
Green: you nailed it
Yellow: you’re almost there
Red: you need to work more on these parts
- Now, you should listen to ELSA speaking again (as many time as you feel like, she won’t get frustrated)
- Then, try to mimic the way she sounds until all the parts get green or yellow. Congratulations! You did it!
2 – Using the Pronunciation Dictionary
Learning a skill is a process and it sometimes doesn’t offer instant gratification. If you stick to our lessons, you may need to be a bit patient and consistent before being able to witness the amazing result. Now, the interesting question is, what if you have an important interview or presentation in English, say, tomorrow? Can ELSA help?
What you’ll need to do is simple:
- Go to Ask ELSA Now section
- Type in any word or sentence that confuses you
- ELSA will show you how to speak it first, then you speak
- You will then receive instant feedback on your speaking just like in the other lessons.
3 – Scoring, earning badges and challenging your friends
It doesn’t feel like studying when you’re with ELSA. The experience is gamified in a way that doesn’t bore you or tire you out. Most importantly, using ELSA for only 10 minutes per day was reported to help generate a 40% improvement. Within 3 weeks.
Lastly, don’t forget to share your improvements on Facebook and encourage your friends to practice too. 😉
4 – Requesting new topics
Right now, ELSA has 3 main topics (Love, Travel, Business) with total 30 levels for you to practice. Many people have told us that they needed more and asked if we were going to add more content. Yes, we absolutely will. What’s more, if you have a specific demand for a topic to be included, you drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try our best to accommodate your needs (on a first come first serve basis).
And that’s that. Fascinating, isn’t it?
It has been an incredible journey, and I’m sure it will continue to be.
My friend, I can confidently tell you this. Gone were the days when you desperately needed someone to practice speaking English with but had no idea where to find one or were even able to find them but then eventually to shy to speak. ELSA Speak is the simplest solution. No frustration, no impatience, no vague hints. She was brought to life with the sole purpose of helping you be better at speaking English. Now it’s just a matter of time before you can actually see the improvements.