Your phone is your newest English conversation buddy.
You don’t even need someone to call.
All you need are powerful English speaking apps to learn perfect pronunciation, natural rhythms and everything else to talk confidently.
We’ve found six of the most unique, innovative English speaking apps out there. They’ll be the talkative digital companions you need to develop your accent and speak more naturally.
So grab your favorite device and let’s get talking!
How Using Apps Benefits English Learners
Ok, I get it, apps are great. But why should I use apps when there are so many other learning methods out there?
- Freedom to learn anywhere you are, anytime you want: You can learn on your own time and create a program that fits your needs. For instance, you can practice in bed before sleep using these apps. Or you could practice while you travel and watch that otherwise boring time on the plane flying by as you learn!
You can clearly learn English this way with a book, too, but with an app you don’t need to carry anything other than your favorite device.
- Increased productivity: An English speaking app is always with you. Sometimes, you waste time while waiting for an appointment or on your commute, but by using an app you’ll have the chance to invest that time in a more productive way: reviewing, learning and playing.
- Fun and motivation: Yes! You can learn while having fun. These apps let you play games and complete exercises while learning the language.
Plus, with an element of fun, English apps will help you stay motivated to keep practicing. Many of them will also track your learning progress, which can further boost motivation.
- Affordability: Maybe the biggest benefit of English speaking apps is that they’re affordable—sometimes free! There are tons of apps that offer free lessons, activities and resources for speaking English.
We’ve selected some of the best ones for you.
6 English Speaking Apps to Get You Talking in No Time
Cost: Free; ELSA Pro subscriptions available for $2.50/month and up.
Before you start speaking English, you’ve got to focus on your pronunciation. ELSA—which stands for English Language Speech Assistant—is an interactive speaking app that helps you speak English better by fine tuning your pronunciation.
When you begin learning, ELSA asks your native language to sense how your English pronunciation might be. Then, it presents you with a few common phrases and words, and listens to your own pronunciation of them.
Once that’s done, ELSA starts teaching you specific syllables and sounds that you’re having trouble with.
ELSA’s program was designed by experts in communication and speech coaching. The app is free to download and you can watch it in action in the video below.
Cost: 12.99 euros; free trial available
Nativox claims to be the first method to teach English based on improving intonation (pitch/cadence of speech).
Like any language, English has not only its particular sounds but also its own intonation patterns. Nativox focuses on helping users visualize and comprehend American English intonation to improve speaking abilities.
While using Nativox, first you listen with your ears and eyes—you’ll be able to see the melodic line of the intonation patterns. These are specially designed for you to find out which part has a stronger pronunciation and what part has a weaker one.
Then, you’ll be able to repeat phrases and record yourself imitating the pronunciation and intonation until you get good at it. Just like we learned when we were children.
Finally, you’ll listen to yourself while you find out the meaning of what you’re saying. Nativox is designed so you can learn how to say something while learning what it means. That way, your brain is free to focus on speaking, rather than on grammar or vocabulary.
Cost: $10 to $20 per month; free trial available
If you’re keen on audiovisual learning and want to learn to speak English while having fun, then FluentU is the right way to go.
FluentU uses engaging, authentic English videos—such as popular talk shows, news and funny YouTube clips—to provide you an entertaining English speaking experience.
Each video comes with interactive captions that provide definitions and pronunciations for any word you don’t recognize.
For example, tap on the word “brought,” and you would see this:
Videos become English lessons—each one comes with flashcards, vocabulary lists and fun quizzes. With FluentU’s questions, you can always see more examples for the word you’re learning.
That means not only will you learn English naturally, you’ll also be able to speak English the way native speakers really use it.
What I like most about the FluentU app is the chance to keep a record of my progress as I’m learning, as well as the recommendations it gives me based on what I’m learning. No one will have the same experience, even if they’re learning with the same videos.
Okay, okay. So, Converse isn’t technically an English learning app. But it does provide you with the opportunity to hear and imitate correct English pronunciations of any words or phrases you want.
How? Converse literally transforms your iPhone into a speech translation device. You just tap the screen while speaking and then release it to translate.
“But how will I learn? Converse will do all English speaking for me!”
Have you ever tried to speak in English on your own, but you weren’t sure you were doing it right because there’s no one to correct your mistakes?
Converse can help.
You can prevent plenty of embarrassing and frustrating moments with Converse. Whenever you’re unsure of how to pronounce something, you can just translate, listen and then imitate Converse’s pronunciation.
Along with some other tips to improve your pronunciation, Converse will help you become more comfortable speaking English. You’ll be confident on how to speak properly and sound more natural, since you’ll have listened and practiced before!
Cost: Free; has in-app purchase options
Missing having an English speaking companion? Then, this app is perfect for you.
You can keep an interactive conversation with a video character so you can work on your English speaking skills even if you have no one to practice with.
First, you listen to a dialogue in a video as many times as you need. You’ll be shown pictures to link with the meaning of the words. That way, you can focus on speaking instead of reading a text.
Then, you can read the dialogues to better understand them before you start speaking. Finally, you get to play the role of one of the characters in the video and immerse yourself in the conversation.
The app combines the latest speech recognition technologies with videos so you can speak with the characters like in a real conversation. What I love most about this app is the continuous feedback you get—as you progress you’ll get points based on your performance anytime, just like in a video game!
Cost: Free; $1.99 to remove ads; $4.99 for offline mode
If you’re in dire need of more English conversations, this app will be of great help to you.
It comes with hundreds of lessons sets—including listening exercises, quizzes and conversation practice—focused to improve your daily conversational skills with an easy and productive approach.
This app is really great at changing the process of learning English into something more manageable. You can improve your speaking skills whenever you’re with your mobile device.
The reason I love this app is that it comes with a recording feature. You can review the recordings, listen to and compare yourself with the model answers, so you can improve after every practice session! This continuous review and assessment is essential for steady improvement.
So, there you have it. Six remarkable mobile apps that will guide you to improve your English conversational skills.
Using mobile apps is a fun and effective way to learn English. They’re easily accessible, convenient and—most importantly—enjoyable and motivating. These different apps will help get you speaking in no time at a level you feel comfortable.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.