5 English Chat Bots That’ll Never Judge You
With chat robots, you can practice English every day without judgment and without depending on someone else’s schedule. An English chat bot can be your personal learning assistant you can take everywhere.
We’ll show you five of our favorites below. Some of them are designed for English learners, while others are actually used by native English speakers!
- How Can a Chat Robot Help You Learn English?
- How to Chat with Robots to Learn English
- And One More Thing...
How Can a Chat Robot Help You Learn English?
Gamification and motivation
Many chat apps use gamification (fun features and rewards that make it feel like a game). For example, users win gems or badges after using the app for several days in a row or after meeting a language goal. These features make the app fun to use, which in turn motivates you to keep learning.
Whenever you feel like talking in English, your chat robot will be there. You can get an instant answer to any question and chat for hours on end.
No judgment or embarrassment
Robots will not judge you. They do not roll their eyes or shake their head when you make a mistake or misuse an English word.
Also, since you are chatting together with a robot without half of the class listening in, you do not feel embarrassed if you use the wrong participle or pronounce a word incorrectly. You find it easier to make conversation and keep practicing.
In a classroom, you usually have to wait for your turn to speak and be corrected. You do not have a lot of opportunities to practice talking one-on-one with a teacher and get feedback on your pronunciation or grammar.
But with a chat robot, you get personalized English practice whenever you want it. This is good to have in any language tool—from chat robots to apps and language learning programs like FluentU.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
How to Chat with Robots to Learn English
Below, you will find two basic types of robots you can practice English with.
First are the chatbots created especially for language learners (namely, Mondly and Andy). Second are the authentic chatbots native speakers use for a variety of tasks.
Both of these will help you practice English in real-world situations.
Mondly is a language learning solution with a web version and a mobile app. Their program comes with chatbots you can communicate with in writing or by speaking into your phone/computer.
When you have a conversation with the chatbot, you will be given a few possible responses. Think of them as hints in case you are not sure know how to respond to something the robot says.
You can also hear the examples spoken in a male or female voice, which will teach you the pronunciation. You can pick the one you like the most, or give your own answer by saying it or typing it into the chat window.
When the chatbot fails to understand what you say, it will ask you to repeat. You can study either American or British English with Mondly.
For a full review of Mondly, go here.
Andy is a chat app designed specifically for English conversation practice. The robot is part tutor, part friend. You can talk about anything or play language games with Andy. There are also options to learn English grammar and expand your vocabulary.
English learners of all levels can find explanations for different grammatical rules. Once you pick a topic, Andy will give you a brief instruction and you can ask for further explanations. You also get tested at the end of each grammar lesson. If you make a mistake, Andy will tell you where you got it wrong.
And if you want to learn more words, Andy will give you the definitions of the words you do not know. You will also get examples of the words used in real-life contexts.
If you just feel like having a chat, you can always do so. You can send Andy written messages and read or listen to the app’s responses.
3. Real English Bot Assistants
If you want to learn in a more informal or casual way, you can have fun chatting with an AI (Artificial Intelligence) assistant. Many stores and services now have chatbots to answer customer questions.
Just go to any website and the chatbot should appear somewhere in the lower right corner of your screen. You should see something like “Chat with (Chatbot Name)” or “Need Help? Ask (Chatbot Name).” All you have to do is click and start a conversation.
4. Built-in Smartphone Assistants
If you want to practice conversational English on a daily basis, you can try the virtual assistant available on your smart devices. For example, iPhone users can chat with Siri. And if you have an Android phone, Google Assistant will help you out with everyday questions.
You can ask your smartphone assistants anything—like the time of the last train to the nearest city or the size of the largest planet in our solar system. You can also make requests like setting a reminder to alert you in 30 minutes. This will help improve your knowledge of all sorts of sentence structures.
When you chat with a person, you can use facial expressions, hand gestures and objects around you to help you say what you mean. On the other hand, because you use your voice to talk to Siri and Google Assistant, you need to speak clearly. Otherwise, they will not understand you.
These apps are a great way to check if you can pronounce a word correctly. You can also see if the way you form a sentence makes sense without any context-based cues.
5. Akinator (The Mind-reading Genie)
Yes, you read that right: this app can read minds! Or rather, it can try to guess a real or fictional character you are thinking of.
Once you hit the “Challenge me” button, Akinator will ask you a few questions like “Is your character a man/woman?” and you can respond with “Probably/Probably not,” “Yes,” “No” or “Don’t know.” The AI will then generate the name of a person (for example, Albert Einstein) and you can confirm whether its guess is right or wrong.
Not only is using Akinator a fun way to pass the time, but it also improves your ability to describe people—real or otherwise. The more accurate the AI is at guessing the character you have in mind, the better your description probably is.
With advances in Artificial Intelligence and tons of great learning apps available, you can have interesting and fruitful conversations with a robot to improve your English.
From language learning chatbots to virtual assistants that come with your phone, you can learn to speak better English, improve your grammar, expand your vocabulary and have a lot of fun.
And One More Thing...
If you like learning English through movies and online media, you should also check out FluentU. FluentU lets you learn English from popular talk shows, catchy music videos and funny commercials, as you can see here:
The FluentU app and website 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 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? FluentU remembers the vocabulary that you’re learning. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You have a truly personalized experience.
Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)