Use of Speech-to-Text Feature to Gain Extra Oral Practice in Apps

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I've found a cool way to get extra speaking practice from DL, Memrise and Clozemaster exercises. It seems to be reversing a slow decline in my oral command of Portuguese. (I'm sure someone else has tried this little tweak, but I wanted to describe it for everyone who hasn't.)

The present state of my laptop keyboard has driven me to my Kindle Fire and iPhone SE for my daily Portuguese drills. I can't type with one or two thumbs fast as I can with ten fingers, so I've been giving the built-in dictation features a try. Turns out the iPhone and Fire speech-to-text (STT) feature can dictate answers pretty faithfully in the three apps I'm switching between. I've outlined my experience with all of them below.


On Memrise for iOS and Kindle, I can speak the answers I once typed, and I only have to correct the most obscure words. (Of course I can't use STT for the multiple choice or tap tests.)


On the desktop version of Clozemaster, I can also speak my answers, but only when I use my Kindle. (I access it through the Silk browser.)

For whatever reason, the iOS version of Clozemaster just catches the first letter of whatever I say. I'm stuck typing my answers there.


To my relief, Duolingo handles the dictation even better than Memrise does. Since I already maxed out the EN>PT course years ago, I've been using the PT>DE course, which prompts me to give most of the answers in PT. The few times every session that the iPhone app requests a German answer, I don't even have to switch language settings (as I'd have to on the Fire).

What's the upshot of all this extra speaking practice? My PT-BR accent is getting respectable again and my ability to reproduce what I know in live conversation is catching up with my reading and writing. It's not quite as well honed as those skills, but it's already getting a lot better. I really felt like I was stalling orally before I stumbled on this approach. I'd love to hear what everyone else thinks of it and whether any DLers have availed themselves of it.

1 year ago


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