English is the language of the business world. It’s why companies invest millions to help professionals perfect their English-speaking abilities to communicate with people and organizations from around the globe. Speaking English can lead to more deals, partnerships, and innovation, plus it forms a pool of talented workers with a more international mindset.
Still, scoring high on English tests alone isn’t sufficient to see the benefits of being multilingual in the workspace. Individuals need to apply their learning in context, feel confident speaking in English, and ensure that they are clearly understood. For that to happen, businesses need more than training courses and textbooks.
The key is to use tools that give professionals access to immediate feedback about their pronunciation, grammar, and syntax for a variety of different contexts. By making corrections early on, and giving people information to make connections between sounds and structure themselves, they are more likely to remember changes and build an accurate linguistic foundation. And, when it’s possible to deliver this feedback in real work settings, it can better prepare professionals for the nuances of speaking business English, such as using technical terms or more formal construction.
ELSA Speech Analyzer is one tool putting English learning in context. The AI-powered conversational English coach provides instant, personalized performance analysis to help you expand your vocabulary and become familiar with grammar rules. More importantly though, Speech Analyzer builds natural-sounding fluency. How? The sophisticated tool was developed using voice data from people speaking English with a range of accents. As a result, Speech Analyzer can recognize speech patterns among non-native speakers and make accurate suggestions to improve.
Here are five ways you can practice speaking with ELSA Speech Analyzer, in real-life scenarios.
1. Preparing for a speaking exam
Whether for a certification, job interview, or a promotion, speaking exams can be daunting. With Speech Analyzer, you can select your test type (IELTS, TOEFL, TOEIC) and the section you want to focus on (interview, topic, or follow-up questions). You’re then guided through a series of prompts and can submit recordings of your responses. You’re also asked about possible topics in general conversations, and are encouraged to express and justify your opinions.
The recordings are processed and you receive a speaking score, complete with a breakdown of your fluency, grammar, intonation, vocabulary, and pronunciation. You can also see how your score compares to other international tests.
This detailed feedback enables you to really finesse your speaking, and enter the exam assured that you have had comprehensive practice.
2. Getting ready for a job interview
Job interviews require being able to answer spontaneous questions and to sell yourself well as a candidate – and doing so in another language adds another layer to the process. Speech Analyzer takes you through a list of interview questions, including current responsibilities, why you want the job, and what you can bring to the company. Answers have to be at least 30 seconds long per question, and once complete, you receive a detailed analysis of how you did.
Under the grammar highlights tab, you can see your grammatical range, such as present participle, passive voice, relative clauses, and prepositions – all with examples taken from your responses. You are equally told what level of fluency you’ve reached based on your answers, and can see tailored feedback about how to advance, like “Keep exploring new phrasal verbs to add to your repertoire.”
At the same time, the tool proposes synonyms that can lend credibility to your messages, along with ways to make your speech more formal to avoid misunderstandings during the interview.
3.Improving day-to-day conversations in English
With Speech Analyzer, you can practice speaking English and prepare for daily chats with colleagues. You can select from conversation topics like food, shopping or work, and answer questions that may come up in general exchanges. Once you’ve finished answering, you’ll receive reports around your pacing, pausing, and hesitations.
You will see your most common errors and areas for improvement, too. For instance, letters that you repeatedly mispronounce, with examples of what words you have incorrectly said in your transcript. The tool then offers video tutorials that specify how to make such sounds.
Elsewhere, you can review a graph of your pitch variation when you speak, and discover which words to make more prominent by saying them louder and with more energy.
The combination of this information means you can strike up conversations on a regular basis, and be assured that your English is natural and engaging.
4. Communicating in working meetings
Communication is key at work, and you need to be able to efficiently digest and react to what people around you say. Likewise, you need to be able to articulate yourself well. Speech Analyzer doubles down on natural delivery that is appropriate for meetings, sharing feedback around when to pause after key ideas and how to maintain pace.
One of Speech Analyzer’s exercises involves you describing a number of images in English, and in your own words. You can use hints to get started, and can customize the hints according to easy/medium/challenging levels.
By converting images into a narrative in English, you’ll be prepared to respond to charts, presentations, and other non-text formats in meetings, and feel ready to communicate your ideas and interpretations in meetings.
5. Avoiding misunderstandings
Misunderstandings in business can be expensive and damaging to teams’ relationships. As a non-native speaker, they can also knock your confidence.
That’s why you can upload recordings of meetings where you weren’t able to fully express yourself in English to Speech Analyzer and gather notes about how to revise what you said. You can dive into your vocabulary distribution and pinpoint where you are on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. By knowing this, you can take action to explore new words that expand your vocabulary bank and let you explain concepts more precisely.
The tool can additionally underline parts in your transcripts where you weren’t completely clear, and offer tips to vary your intonation to better convey subtext and emotions.
These are just a few of the ways ELSA Speech Analyzer can be used to practice speaking in English.