Speak Easy

This will only work on Google's Chrome browser. This is because it uses Google's voice recognition service to recognise the words being spoken. In the future, it may be possible for Firefox and Safari to also work with this game, but for now, it is just Google.

You have to give your browser permission to accept your microphone. Then on the first screen you can see a box that will display anything you say. Once you say something that is successfully recognised, the start button will appear. If you click on start, you can try speaking some content.

The aim of this game is let the player learn and practice saying vocabulary items; images are shown and then the word must be spoken. If you do not know the word, you can click on the audio button to hear it and then say it afterwards with items repeated numerous times. It is hoped that by doing this, the player can slowly become able to say all the words correctly. The learning mechanism here is quite clear, you review the words you already know and then gradually learn and practice the ones you do not know. You learn the ones you do not know by listening and repeating what you hear from clicking on the audio button. This is quite similar to the process of using flash cards in a real classroom. With flash cards, the usage is typically to use them to communicate meaning and elicit the spoken forms, with monitoring, assistance and feedback provided by the teacher. The game is pretty much trying to emulate this process in an on line format.

The way the vocabulary items are presented is a little bit more complex than just a straightforward sequence. If an item is initially known, then it is sent to the back of the queue after being spoken. But if a word is unknown - and has to be heard - then it only cycled back to a position near the front of the queue. Also, if someone is really good and knows a lot or most of the items, then the game will start to take items out of the queue completely when they are spoken. Conversely, if an item is too difficult to say or recall, then the user can just click on the cross to dismiss the item and remove it from the queue.

Just to be clear, the aim of this game is not to practice pronunciation. No grading of pronunciation is measured or evaluated. Rather it just a case of whether the user can remember the word and then say it well enough for the server to recognise it. The way that the speech recognition works is that it returns the word that it most closely matches what it thinks the person is saying.

Please leave a comment to tell me what you think and how this is working.