Recommended preparations of pronunciation activities

It is important to understand how artificial intelligence (AI) tools work before creating exercises of this type. Otherwise, the activity created may generate frustration for the teacher and students.

Avatar Yanick

By Yanick Demers

Date of Creation: 2020-10-21

Last Update: 2021-03-23

How does speech recognition work?

Speech recognition is a computer technique that analyzes the human voice captured by a microphone and transcribes it into machine-readable text. In fact, the machine will try to guess correctly what the person is trying to say, by analyzing it and comparing it with a large number of recordings.

The score (%) given to the learner/student is not an assessment of the quality of the pronunciation. The AI gives feedback on the interpretation of the recording, in other words, I understood that the pronounced words were close enough to the words, to the written sentence. The AI works like a human being, if you say "Hello" with a bad accent, I can understand that you said it. And for someone learning a language, this is the first step to fluency.

Here are some tips to help you achieve your learning goals with the SmartClass Hub pronunciation activity.

Provide a context to improve the chances of success

It is easier to be understood if you provide context. Let's say I only say the word Four in English. It is difficult for a machine to tell the difference between Four and For. We suggest that you use phrases, rather than single words.

The AI is quite well developed, but it is not a human brain ;-)

Avoid overly specialized vocabulary

The use of technical terms can be difficult to interpret by a machine. Imagine speaking to someone who is new to a cutting-edge field - they may have trouble understanding you!

Practice vs. test

Robotel does not recommend using speech recognition to formally assess students. There are too many parameters that can affect the outcome, including the quality of the recording. For assessment, it is best to use an activity model such as an audio or video recording.

The main objective of the pronunciation exercise is to make students practice their pronunciation in a fun way. The note is a tool to motivate them to try as many times as possible.

Check the feasibility of the activity yourself

Finally, it is important to test the activity before sending it to students. To do this, simply preview and run the activity through before sharing. This can yield some fun results, so bear with a developing technology.


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