English pronunciation is like a dance.
You need to follow a rhythm.
You need to feel the flow of the language.
You need to coordinate different parts of your mouth to make the right sounds.
Just like learning to dance, learning English pronunciation is hard. But once you know the basics, it becomes quite fun!
And if pronunciation is like a dance, then a conversation definitely feels like a party.
In this post, we’ll explore how English learners can turn their pronunciation practice sessions into a fun party.
So let’s imagine. If you hosted a pronunciation party, who would you invite? Below, we’ll list out some of our own recommendations.
These are the most friendly and helpful Android English pronunciation apps you’ll want to invite to your pronunciation party.
Host a Pronunciation Party! 13 Android English Pronunciation Apps to Invite to Your Device
Small Talk Strangers: Apps for Basic Pronunciation Practice
We all know that feeling.
You enter a party and you don’t know anyone there. You stand in a corner, hoping that someone will recognize you.
But then a stranger greets you and starts a conversation. You talk for about five minutes and start to feel more confident. Some more people join the conversation and before you know it you’ve made new friends.
The apps in this section are like those friendly strangers. They help you feel comfortable. You might spend just a few minutes speaking with them, but they help you begin the learning process. And before you know it, pronunciation practice becomes your habit and you’re spending hours trying to improve your English speaking skills.
Even if you’re not a beginner, it’s best to start your initial practice with these Android apps so that you review the basic sounds used in the English language.
Sounds is an elegant (beautifully simple) app. It helps language learners memorize the basic sounds used in English. The app is useful for both British and American English.
It features a “Phonemic Chart,” which is a list of symbols each connected to a unique sound. Unlike the letters in the alphabet, each symbol is only used for one specific sound. That way, the app can give you a phonemic spelling, so you can know exactly which sounds to use for any word rather than having to guess what sound each letter makes.
In this app, each symbol in the Phonemic Chart has a high-quality recording of the related sound. It also shows you words in which that particular sound is used.
The paid version has many quizzes, tips, a vocabulary list and the option to check your own pronunciation.
LearnEnglish Sounds Right
This app is made by the British Council, which is known for its English learning courses throughout the world. It also has a phonemic chart. You can tap any symbol in the chart to hear how it’s pronounced.
It also shows three example words for each sound.
The chart in this app is arranged according to the shape our mouths make for each particular sound. For instance, the consonant sounds are arranged from left to right. The sounds on the left are made using the front part of the mouth and the sounds on the right use the back of the mouth.
For practice using these charts, it’s best to speak out an example word and focus on the different kinds of sounds in that one word. Comparing your pronunciation with the recorded sounds in the app is also a good way to improve English pronunciation.
Speak English Pro
This app is made specifically for American English. Unlike the previous apps, this app categorizes the sounds according to the different kinds of vowels and consonants used in American English. There’s no phonemic chart.
The sounds are organized by category, such as “short vowels.” Under each category, the app describes how to move your mouth and tongue to produce the sound accurately.
These descriptions use the technical words of the different parts of the mouth and throat. So, you may need to search for a illustration online that shows you where each part is located.
The app has a list of commonly used words in American English. It also allows you to store important words, record your voice and watch videos for pronunciation practice.
Speak English Pronunciation
This app shows English sounds in both charts and the different categories of vowels and consonants. Each sound has a diagram with instructions on how to produce that sound. You can also listen to each sound and see the words that use that sound.
In case you’re looking for a specific word, you can also search for it directly. This is really helpful when you need to listen to the pronunciation of a particular word. You can also use this app in reading practice. In English, a word’s spelling is often different from the way it’s pronounced. Listening to the pronunciation of words while reading helps you avoid confusion.
This particular app is especially great for Vietnamese speakers since it has an English-Vietnamese dictionary.
Quick Pronunciation Tool
Cost: Free ; In-app purchases available
This is a general pronunciation app for several languages. You can learn both British and American English in this app. Instead of focusing on all the individual sounds of English, this app is designed to teach the pronunciation of words.
With one tap, you can get the search option and listen to how a word is pronounced. You can also share any text from another source (such as a web browser, a reading app or an e-book) and listen to its pronunciation. This app is perfect for reading practice. This app also doesn’t show any ads, ensuring that you aren’t distracted in your practice sessions.
You can use this app anywhere since it doesn’t require an internet connection.
Language learners can also compare the pronunciation of different languages since it has Spanish, Italian, German, French, Japanese, Hindi, Korean, Greek, Portuguese and Russian pronunciations along with English. Many words from these languages have related sounds and can help learners connect an English word to a language they already know.
This app has certain unique features that’ll help you pronounce English words with more precision. For instance, it has a section for word stress rules and helps you practice your pronunciation according to the length of the words.
It also focuses more on the individual sounds of words. It has a section where you have to write the phonemes (the symbols in the phonemic chart) in a given word. It also helps you identify the correct sounds through games and quizzes. For instance in one game, the app will give you a sound and you’ll need to choose words that have the sound.
The app is great for learners who want to focus deeply on the pronunciation of words and English sounds. It has diagrams and videos for each sound and also has a pronunciation test that records you and tells you whether your pronunciation is correct or not.
Supportive Friends: Apps for Checking Your Pronunciation
Close friends often have to play the role of a teacher. They ask many questions. They make sure that we’re safe. They also try to look after us at parties and other events.
The English apps in this section focus on testing your pronunciation skills. Unlike the apps in the previous sections, these apps help you memorize what you’ve already learned and keep you moving in the right direction.
Say It: English Pronunciation
Cost: Limited free version ; Paid versions $0.99 to $3.49
Developed by Oxford University, this app instantly allows you to compare your pronunciation with a native English speaker.
The app first plays an audio recording of a word, then asks you to repeat the same word. Your pronunciation is instantly recorded and replayed and you can see how accurate it is. The app also makes it easier for you to see where you made mistakes by visualizing your voice as a sound wave. You can compare this sound wave with the sound wave of the native English speaker and see exactly where your pronunciation is different.
This app only features a British accent. In the free version you can listen to 100 samples, four tests and 12 sounds. You can buy additional sounds and tests within the app. In the paid version there are some American accents available too.
The app also allows you to slow down the recording in specific portions. This is very useful when a word has a difficult pronunciation. Intermediate and advanced learners will also benefit from it since there are three levels of difficulty.
You can keep track of your progress and save specific words in the app.
Speakit: Be a native English speaker now
Cost: Free ; In-app purchases available
This pronunciation checker is made for American English learners. The app has versatile features for pronunciation practice. You can focus on specific sounds, specific words, specific topics and even sentences.
Just like the previous app, each word comes with an audio recording. After the recording is played, you have to repeat the word and the app will tell you how accurate your pronunciation was.
For each sound there are video tutorials. These tutorials tell you how to properly move your mouth while making that sound. This feature really helps in correcting your pronunciation fast. You can also use a mirror while repeating these words so you can compare your own mouth movements with the video.
The app also has some recorded sentences for various topics like food, family, asking for directions or greeting people.
Each sound has around 30 example words in this app. It also has an offline dictionary that lets you look up any word and listen to its pronunciation.
Cost: Free trial ; Free and paid versions available ($8.99 for three months, $29.99 for one year, $79.99 for life)
This app uses artificial intelligence technology to find out if your pronunciation is correct or not. This app can identify specific mistakes and patterns in your speech and help you correct them.
The main feature of Elsa is to listen to your voice while you speak an English word and then see how accurate your pronunciation was. It mainly focuses on American English.
You can also practice regularly by choosing a topic that interests you. The app will show you all the words relevant to that topic and help you pronounce them perfectly. For general practice, ELSA can also train you with common English phrases used in daily life.
The app also tracks your progress and shows your proficiency level in English pronunciation and speaking. If you find any particular word challenging you can save it and practice its pronunciation regularly.
Chat Buddies: Apps for In-depth Pronunciation Practice
Have you ever started a conversation with a friend and before you knew it, hours had passed by? These are usually those people who leave a party last. And often the conversations are deep and meaningful.
The apps in this section are similar. They encourage learners to spend more time in practice. Instead of focusing on individual sounds, they encourage you to have conversations and engage deeply.
Cost: Free trial ; Basic and Plus memberships available from $20/month
If you want to truly sound like a native speaker in English, FluentU is your best bet. That’s because FluentU surrounds you with the real sounds of English, no matter where you live.
Unlike traditional language learning sites, FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the English language and culture over time. You’ll learn English as it’s spoken in real life.
FluentU has a variety of engaging content from popular talk shows, nature documentaries and funny commercials, as you can see here:
FluentU makes it really easy to watch English videos. There are captions that are interactive. That means you can tap on any word to see an image, definition and useful examples.
For example, when you tap on the word "searching," you'll see this:
Learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.
The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It even reminds you when it’s time to review! Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning with the same video.
You can start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, by downloading the app from the iTunes or Google Play stores.
With all these features, FluentU will be your best friend at your pronunciation party—and any other English improvement session.
English Listening and Speaking
This is a general English learning app. Since pronunciation is a part of speaking, reading and conversing, this app will let you practice all these skills at once.
The app has voice recognition features that tell you if your pronunciation is correct or not. It also has short stories, idioms, daily conversations and short sentences in both audio and transcripts (written words). Read the transcripts and speak along for pronunciation practice that’ll help you in real life!
You can also improve your grammar and reading skills using this app.
This app mainly uses videos to improve a wide range of English pronunciation skills. It focuses on pronunciation, intonation, pattern and melody.
The app has different “packages” for different topics such as day-to-day English, business English and so on. Each package has around 50 to 70 videos.
The videos contain sentences of various difficulty levels and tell you about the intonation and rhythm used by native speakers. You have to repeat the sentence after the video ends and the app measures if you followed the same patterns or not. Your speech has to be around 70% similar to native speakers to pass the test.
You can track your progress in the app and you get a badge after you successfully pass a level.
Howjsay is a pronunciation dictionary with over 175,000 words. Each word is pronounced by a native speaker and they also have a translation feature in the app.
Apart from common words, the app also has specialist vocabulary relating to fields like medicine, law, science and even current affairs and names of famous people.
They also have different recordings for heteronyms (words that are spelled the same but have different meanings in different contexts). Often, English heteronyms are pronounced differently based on their meanings and this can be very confusing for learners.
While the app has many features, it does have some downsides. You need to be connected to the internet to listen to the pronunciations. And there’s no free version of this app available on the internet.
You can still see the last 1,000 words you looked up without a connection to the internet. Also, new words are added to the dictionary regularly.
If you don’t know the English equivalent of a word in your language, you can also use the translate-and-search feature on the app.
Often, the hardest part about learning English pronunciation is to remember specific sounds or particular pronunciations of words. Learners often remember things better through context. So if you’re using an app that focuses on just individual words or sounds, be sure to look up sentences where those words or sounds are used. And just like all other English learning tools, you’ll need to try out some of these apps before you discover the one that’s perfect for you.
Repetition also plays a big role in learning pronunciation. So make sure you practice regularly.
Now it’s time to get your pronunciation party started!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.