Practice German and Speaking – New Version :)

** Edit: There were some issues with the recording and the hint. I made some fixes now and it should work, but your browser needs to refresh the page completely. If you’re on desktop, you can do that manually, if you’re on phone, it might take a few days for the changes to reach you… modern browser don’t always load everything, so you might be still looking at the old page even though I already changed something. Sorry for that :) **

Hello everyone,

and welcome back to your favorite German learning website.
So many of you probably remember that I partnered up with EF languages for their speech recognition system, and that I am working in integrating that more and more here.
I think speaking actually gets WAAAAYYY too little attention in all the various online courses and systems. I mean, ten years ago, the tech wasn’t really evolved enough, but we’re in 2021 now and there’s really no reason that “fill in the gap”, “multiple choice” or “order word boxes” should be the backbone of exercises these days. I mean, they do have their place, no doubt, but there’s a lot of potential in making people actually speak.

I created two little workouts with the EF exercise toolkit earlier this summer, and you seemed to have liked it as an idea. But there were a lot of small functionality and design thing that were missing or that I wanted to change, to make it a REALLY nice quiz experience.
And so I went all Thanos, like “Fine, I’ll do it myself.” and I actually started programming and over the last few weeks I integrated the speech recognition into the normal quiz setup that I am using.
It’s not 100% finished yet and there are plenty of features I want to add, but it actually works, and so I really really wanted to show it to you and get your feedback :).

So today, I proudly present…

My New Quiz Setup – With Speaking

If you’re a regular reader, it’ll look pretty familiar to the other quizzes on the site. It’s just that now, some questions have to be answered by speaking.

I’ve setup a short quiz for a start about using “ankommen auf” in the sense of “to depend”. It’s just seven questions, but it gives you a good impression of how it works and what you’d like changed or improved.

Here’s how it works:

To record, just press record and then stop. The AI then checks how well your recording matches.
If you’re below the threshold (right now at 70%, but eventually you can set that yourself), then you’ll be asked to try again. If you’re unsure about what you’re saying is even correct, you can check the hint or listen to my version as a reference.
If your version is better than the threshold, you’ll see the proper solution and a word by word breakdown on how well your answer matches each of the word.

“red” and yellow mean a not so good match. Either your pronunciation was really bad or you just said a wrong word or forgot a word.
light green
means that it was decent, but needs work andgreen means that it was pretty darn good. And green with frame means that it was 100% perfect native level.

NOTE that I don’t always score 100% either. The mic quality plays a role, as does the surrounding noise and of course the AI isn’t perfect either.
Anyway, if you get a pass, you can either move on to the next question, but you can also try as many times as you like to maybe get all the words to green level. Just hit record again.
And of course you can listen to yourself and compare all the recordings and their grading.
Oh and the recordings are kept till the end of the quiz, so you can review all questions AND your recordings after you’re done.
Pretty cool, right :)?

In the future, I’ll also add the option for you to set the percentages for the colors, so if you want a really strict AI that only lets you pass above 90%, you’ll be able to do that. But for now, I think I’ve set it to a good middle ground.

I also want to add the option for you to switch to typing, and I want to give you an average of the pronunciation quality on the result screen, but hey… the main focus of the exercise is that you practice German words and structures, not that you get a poster perfect pronunciation. You do need native speaker feedback for that, after all.

Anyway, so yeah… I think we’re ready to jump in, so … viel Spaß mit der Übung :)

And… how did you like it :) :) :)?
Please let me know in the comments how you liked it and if you liked this better than the first two exercise options from a few weeks ago.
I’m sure there are glitches, too, so please let me know ALL the feedback. What you liked, what didn’t work and what features you’d like to have. And be wild there. Because it’s now quite integrated into the site, I have a LOT of control over what features I can add and how to add them.
So yeah… I really can’t wait to read all your thoughts and comments.
Thank you all for reading, have a great week and I’ll see you soon… (when I announce my vacation ;))

further reading:

Practice Speaking – Past Tense (similar idea, but less customized)

Practice Speaking – Three verbs (second version, different, but not yet ideal)

 

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for members :)

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