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If you’re unsure whether or not Elsa Speak will help you understand the English language, this Elsa Speak Review may be what you’re looking for!
When you’re learning a new language, it can be hard to find resources that are both engaging and accurate.
I understand the difficulties that English learners face when learning a foreign language. As an online language instructor, I want to assist them in overcoming this obstacle.
I teamed up with an intermediate-level student, Andrea Delher, to provide you with a feel for how Elsa Speak may help you enhance your language abilities.
What Is Elsa Speak?
Elsa Speak is a mobile application that uses artificial intelligence to improve your English pronunciation. The app provides you with instant feedback on your speaking so that you can make the necessary adjustments.
Suitable for beginner, intermediate, and advanced students, you can improve your English fluency through their conversation speaking, pronunciation, and certification (IELTS and Business English) courses.
Live classes are available; you can also use the app to practice your conversation skills with native English speakers. The app connects you with their top native English tutors from the US who help you practice at a special discount.
According to the website, “27 hours of studying with ELSA is equivalent to an ESL speaking course at an American university.
Elsa charges a monthly or annual subscription fee for its services. You can also additionally pay to follow their interactive one-on-one native English speaker classes or take lessons using their Oxford Business books.
What Are the Main Features of Elsa Speak?
The main features of Elsa Speak include:
- Progress tracking
- Virtual AI coach
- Learning path and customizable to preferences
- Pronunciation feedback; speaking and listening practice
- Conversation practice with native speakers (optional)
While clear pronunciation is the aim of the game, it also incorporates listening and speaking practice. There is also a Whatsapp group and forum you can message to keep up with the learning community.
Summary Review of Elsa Speak
While testing out the app, I did notice a few flaws. Despite being a native English speaker (and English language tutor!), I could only score about 70-80% in the speech grader tool for conversation practice most of the time.
It’s a little weird being told I sound 88% like a native speaker when I am a fluent English speaker. My pronunciation is quite clear, but it isn’t an American-English accent. I feel this is a little misleading and may cause some insecurities in English language learners.
Elsa Speak gives you “daily challenges” based on your learning needs and the time you have each day. You can definitely learn a thing or two, as they provide you with new words, phrases, translations, and pronunciations for you to know.
While I think this is a fun and interactive app, I can see the benefit of taking this practice daily in addition to some other language learning practices. Use it as a daily practice to learn something new and improve your pronunciation without relying heavily on the percentage grade.
Another thing I noticed is that you are given the exact words to repeat in most conversations. While this is a great way to show you how native English speakers engage in conversation and the kind of expressions they use, it does not allow you to think and formulate sentences for yourself.
There are some conversation practices where you can give your genuine opinion on a topic; however, that is not graded, no feedback is provided, and you may not know if you have answered the sentence with correct grammar.
The conversation practices give some excellent practical answers you could use in everyday life. If you can afford it, I would recommend doing the one-on-one lessons in conjunction with the AI tool for the best learning experience. They come at an affordable discounted rate with the app.
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What You Can Expect at Elsa Speak
- A user-friendly interface
- Both audio and visual lessons
- Pronunciation and conversation practice exercises
- Free IELTS course component
- Other topics suited to a variety of interests, such as travel, education, living and working abroad, job opportunities, culture, and entertainment
Pros and Cons of Elsa Speak
|Pros of Elsa Speak
|Cons of Elsa Speak
|Instant voice recognition with error correction
|The learning structure to follow isn’t always clear
|Personalized learning according to interests and needs
|Slow loading speed times
|Easy to follow your progress
|Questionable pronunciation grading score
|Interesting and motivational reward-styled learning
|Needing to repeat oneself because the app doesn’t recognize the word
|Has helped many improve their confidence and pronunciation
|Not enough emphasis or attention placed on grammar or writing practice
|Step-by-step instructions to pronounce difficult letters
|Login screen clutter
|Image scan provides a direct translation of writing
|Certification courses, such as IELTS and Business English practice
|International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) Usage
Is Elsa Speak free?
How Much Does Elsa Speak cost?
Elsa Speak costs $11.99 per month. You can get it for a much lower price of $6.25 for 1-year access or $8.66 per three-month access.
Elsa Speak Reviews Overall
Elsa Speak’s reviews are positive. Users of Elsa Speak have praised the software, stating that it is both useful and simple to use. The lessons are fast-paced and gamified to grab your interest. The app offers a variety of features that make learning a new language quick and fun.
Reviewers on G2, an independent software review website, have given Elsa Speak an average of 4.5 stars out of 148 reviews. Here are what some of the reviewers had to say:
Review of Elsa Speak by a Student
As a native English teacher, I didn’t feel I was the ideal candidate to evaluate Elsa Speak. I wanted to hear an outsider’s view of the site.
I got in touch with Andrea Delher, an intermediate English language learner from Latin America. I asked her if she could offer me an honest evaluation of Elsa Speak Pro, and here’s what she had to say.*
*For the purpose of this evaluation, I’ve fixed some syntax and grammatical issues. My inquiries are highlighted in bold.
Summarise your experience with ELSA Speak
- ELSA Speak is an excellent application for learning English, especially if I am interested in improving my pronunciation.
- I find it to be a powerful tool to quickly improve English pronunciation with instant voice correction, which allows me to make significant progress in learning in a short time.
- I find the ELSA Speak learning system very simple, but at the same time fun and stimulating to learn English at a native level
What you liked about the platform:
- The most important part of the platform is to improve the pronunciation of words, and I think this is its greatest potential.
- The instant correction of the pronunciation of each word or phrase indicates the percentage of how well or poorly one does in relation to a native speaker of the language.
- The app is simple to navigate, and I found several exercises fun when I was doing them.
- The application shows how the pronunciation of the word is written, and that, in my case, helps me to improve my pronunciation.
What features did you like best and why?
- I like that it shows how to write the pronunciation of each word because it helps me to pronounce words that I didn’t know how to pronounce.
- I liked that I could listen to the correct pronunciation and compare it instantly with mine and make the correction.
- The ease of studying on my mobile and wherever I am.
- The instructions ELSA gives on how to create the sounds of the different letters and syllables (such as: raising the tongue against the gums, relaxing the lips, dropping the jaw, holding the air between teeth, etc.)
- Personalization can be done for each person’s learning and the variety of topics it has.
Were any of the features not helpful? Why?
I consider that each of the tools on the site is useful, but I did not see any specific one that I consider not useful to achieve learning.
Pros of ELSA Speak
According to Student:
- Super useful application to improve the pronunciation of English.
- Use of AI for instant voice recognition and immediately improve our pronunciation.
- Wide variety of topics to choose from on the platform, according to the interests of each person, to build personalized learning.
- It is easy to follow the progress we are making, which motivates us to continue practicing the lessons.
- Written support on how to write the pronunciation of the words. This, in particular, helps me advance in the lessons and improve my pronunciation.
- With Elsa, there is continuous training in pronunciation, fluency, and intonation of the words.
- ELSA explains how to create the sounds of different letters and syllables, such as: raising the tongue against the gums, relaxing the lips, dropping the jaw, and holding the air between the teeth. This accelerates learning.
- The way of leading the student to achieve the daily objectives and recognizing them gives a plus of motivation to continue studying and practicing.
- The image scan built-in feature provides a direct translation of any writing, and you can use the dictionary to speak any word and instantly find its definition.
- Choose your learning area of interest, such as travel, job opportunities, education, working abroad, and culture, to meet your specific needs.
I like the IELTS aspect of the course. It gives really useful tips and advice, such as collocations you can use and possible responses to typical topics in the IELTS bands 6, 7, and 9.
You can also make some additional study notes with a record of anything new you learned. The responses they give sound native-like, and the words and phrases are explained clearly, so you will likely be able to apply them in everyday conversation.
If you are a tutor, you can also consider integrating this app with your teaching practice. Elsa For Schools allows you to create an organization with a select number of students at a reasonable rate.
Cons of ELSA Speak
According to Student:
- The structure of the program did not seem clear to me. There is a lot of information at the beginning of the session and several paths to follow; sometimes, it is unclear to me.
- Sometimes the application seemed slow when I clicked to load the lesson and when I paused to make my pronunciation.
- Several times I had to repeat the pronunciation because ELSA indicated that I was not listening. At times I found this annoying.
- Sometimes repeating sentences because the app doesn’t recognize all the words.
- The app has little development for writing and grammar, mainly focusing on pronunciation.
- The login screen has a lot of information about WhatsApp groups, videos, etc., cluttering the page.
While testing out Elsa speak and trying their pronunciation courses, I couldn’t believe the fact that I could only score 70-80% in their pronunciation practice. I understand that an AI tool is never perfect, but this is misleading, and I am worried this could make English language learners more insecure about their pronunciation than they need to be.
Even my mom and my brother (both native speakers) tried it, and they both got 70-80% too. Changing how he spoke to a robotic voice, my brother was able to hit +90%.
I want English language learners to recognize that everyone has an accent, and it is ok if these words are not pronounced precisely as Elsa advises; therefore, please remember that a perfect percentage score is nearly impossible to achieve. It would be better to just listen to a replay of the audio and not rely on the score.
Your experience using the lesson materials on mobile:
- I consider the experience of the lessons on the mobile, in general, to be good because it is easy to navigate between pages. However, sometimes the navigation is slow.
- The structure of the page on the mobile seems a bit complicated; it has a lot of material, especially in the initial part with images, WhatsApp pages, etc.
Did the lesson material suit your needs?
- It adapts to my needs, especially if my interest is to improve my pronunciation since the system highlights this part throughout the content.
- As the application has different conversation topics (travel, business, cab driver…), it allows me to select one of those topics according to one’s needs and focus the learning on that topic.
What was the lesson material missing? (if anything)
I wish it had a little more writing and grammar. But to enhance the pronunciation part, I think the material is quite complete.
Was the platform easy to use?
- In general, it is easy to handle. But the structure of the platform, at times, I did not find it so clear and easy to follow. When I started the session, I saw many options such as games, themes, recommended, customized… and at times, I felt that there was too much information on the page and it was not a clear way to follow.
- The platform seemed a little slow to me at the moment of loading the lesson and when I activated the microphone to do the pronunciation.
- There are functions that I think lack information on how they work, or at least I didn’t see it.
Would you recommend this platform to your friends?
Yes, I would recommend this site to learn English, especially if the interest of the person is to learn and improve pronunciation, as this is the greatest virtue of the application.
Any other comments?
If you are interested in learning and improving your English pronunciation and speaking like a native speaker, then ELSA Speak is a recommended tool to achieve this in a short time.
How Does Elsa Speak Work?
Here is a walkthrough of Elsa Speak, the signup process and how its features work.
When you open the app, you’ll be asked to choose your level. There are three levels to choose from: beginner, intermediate and advanced. You will also be asked to enter your language, and how much time you have to give to the app daily.
Choose your interests to customize the app to your learning needs:
Have conversations and pronunciation practice, add study notes, find translations and definitions.
Who Should Use Elsa Speak
If you are a motivated person who can take a few minutes to go through one of Elsa’s lessons, then you may be able to learn some new things. The app is not boring, there is plenty to do and rewards to keep your spirits high. The more you do, the more course access you can unlock on the app.
Who Should Not Use Elsa Speak
If you need someone to constantly be by your side, then this is not the app for you. Elsa Speak is best for people who are willing to put in the effort to learn on their own. However, there is a learning community and some private one-on-one tutors available that will give your motivation a boost if you need it.
Can Elsa Speak Help Beginners?
Elsa Speak can tackle pronunciation errors that language learners may develop when they are beginners and help improve their overall pronunciation from an early stage; therefore, it is suitable for beginners.
Can Elsa Speak Make You Fluent?
Elsa Speak can help with your fluency, but like any AI tool, there are flaws. Elsa Speak can certainly improve your know-how, but you will need to do a lot of work to reach fluency in a language.
Taking a few lessons with native speakers, reading English books, and watching TV shows can also help when you reach a more advanced stage in your English language learning journey.
We partnered with Elsa Speak to get you a fantastic lifetime deal. As Elsa Speak grows, you will have complete access to ALL of the future updates and advanced technology Elsa has to offer. If you want to get 85% off on a lifetime membership, click here. Alternatively, try 35% off the 1-year membership here.
Elsa Speak Alternatives
There are tons of alternatives to Elsa Speak. Check out:
You may want to check my top-rated English courses in 2022 and see if you find one that suits you!
Is Elsa Speak worth it?
Elsa Speak seems like a well-received app. It’s a great tool to have in your arsenal if you are looking to improve your English pronunciation skills.
As an AI tool, Elsa Speak will likely become more accurate over time. It also uses a lot of translation integration available on Google. The difference is that it is more learning-orientated, so you can take notes, and everything is customized to your language needs.
The app also offers a lot of other features that can help with your English language learning journey, so if anything, try it out for at least a few months and see how you get on.
It may take a while to build good habits but try to set aside even a few minutes every day. If you do several hours and then proceed to miss a day, you will find it hard to get back into the learning habit.
Be sure to report back your findings so that I can add them here!
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Final Thoughts on Elsa Speak
Elsa Speak is great for improving pronunciation and some conversation practice. The app has a variety of features and implements gamification to keep you hooked on learning!
While the pronunciation aspect of the app is strong, you are also incorporating listening, reading and speaking into the practice.
With just a few minutes at Elsa Speak, you can improve your English day by day. To gain full benefits of using the Elsa app, you may also wish to try one of their top coaches, as the conversation section of the app may feel limited by the use of AI.
Nevertheless, you can still learn many new words, set targets, and study notes through the app. The app provides immediate translation and explanation of new words, with examples. You can also be involved in the Whatsapp group and language learning community at Elsa to help you improve your skills.
Thanks for reading my Elsa Speak review!
I hope you found it helpful in your decision whether to try out the app or not.
Have you tried Elsa Speak? If so, what did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below!
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Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.