Communicative English is vital for any human engagement; the language is dominating the world. Unfortunately, in many countries, spoken English courses are lacking proper methodology and practicality. So, many are struggling to learn communicative English. The major problem in speaking english is pronunciation, and it is not easy to master American English pronunciation. ELSA, an AI-based English speaking app is trying to eliminate the barriers.
To make swift learning, fluent speaking, and a smooth understanding of English, ELSA ( English Language Speech Assistant ) was developed. Vu Van and Xavier Anguera launched ELSA in 2015. It was founded in San Francisco, headquartered in Lisbon.
Writer Angelica Montrose’s quote, “Challenges are an opportunity to test you and rise to the next level,” suits best on Vu Van, co-founder of ELSA. She secured a seat at Stanford University but was not able to socialize efficiently as no one was able to understand her accent because she belongs to Vietnam, the Austroasiatic language-speaking community.
This language barrier led her to build ELSA with Xavier Anguera, an expert in speech and research papers with 15 years of experience. He had also set up his firm of creating eBooks with synchronized audio for language education named Sinkronigo. Now Xavier works for ELSA on state-of-the-art speech technology to help people improve their pronunciation and intonation skills when learning the language.
ELSA is built with AI and NLP (natural language processing), to understand different languages. It lists the strong points and weaker areas of your speech once you provide analysis. It will show instant feedback on areas where an individual needs to work more, keeping in consideration their mother tongue.
ELSA has 6,000 pre-built chapters with over 100 modules for the users to improve their English-speaking skills. It is also equipped with the dictionary to construct proper sentences along with featuring pictures for better understanding.
Within three years after launch, ELSA reached more than half a million downloads. On the other hand, ELSA has launched in India this year in September; it has recorded the count of 70,000 downloads from five major Indian states. ELSA app has a variety of packages for users in India, starting from INR 499 to INR 3,599.
According to Manit Parikh, Country Manager of India, ELSA is leading with all the aspects such as monthly or daily active users, time spent on the app, and several assessments are taken. It is fed with American English, as it is the commonly used business language globally. With around 40 local languages already existing on this app, he is targeting the count to reach 100 in 2020.
Google supported ELSA by funding $7 million with Monk’s Hill Ventures and SOSV. ELSA is accepted not only by corporate employees and school students and those who are planning for higher studies abroad, but also by homemakers, mothers, and grandparents, says Manik.
English Helper, English Bolo, Multibhashi, Kings Learning, and Utter are the language learning apps that are prominent in the sector. However, ELSA stands outside of the crowd with its unique and potential skill of teaching language. No direct competition for ELSA yet, according to Manik.
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