ELSA, the English-language learning app known for its speech recognition technology, is launching a new product called Speech Analyzer. The assessment platform plugs into communication tools like Zoom and analyzes conversational speech to suggest areas for improvement, including pronunciation, pacing and vocabulary. It is meant to act like a language coach to help people prepare for tests, presentations, interviews or just gain more confidence when speaking English.
Like ELSA’s learning app, which has more than 40 million users, Speech Analyzer provides tutorials, along with projected scores of how users might perform on major English language exams, including IELTS.
Based in San Francisco and Ho Chi Minh City, ELSA’s investors include Google’s AI-focused fund Gradient Ventures.
Founder and CEO Vu Van told TechCrunch Speech Analyzer was developed after ELSA received feedback that users’ English improved while using the app, but they still felt nervous when dealing with face-to-face conversations and Zoom calls. Corporate users are often encouraged to join speaking clubs or Toastmaster to improve their speaking fluency, but lacked the time.
“Recognizing those major pain points among our customers, as well as seeing the world is gravitating towards a more flexible, hybrid and remote working environment where working professionals spend hours on online meeting platforms, we felt that the need for stronger English spoken skills has become more important,” Vu said. Speech Analyzer was built as an expansion to ELSA’s learning app, to make it easier for people to get access to communication coaching.
Speech Analyzer integrates with Outlook and Gmail calendars, and can be used with Zoom, Slack, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and other platforms. It only records the voice of the user and voice recordings can also be uploaded to it.
ELSA is based on mid-Western American English as the standard most often used in business, education and everyday settings, Van said, and uses major English speaking exams like TOEFL, IELTS, TOEIC, CEFR and Pearson as benchmarks.
Speech Analyzer is free to use and monetizes by charging for more advanced features and analysis. It is also available in a premium bundle with an ELSA membership.