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AI is Used by Google’s New “Speaking Practice” Function to Assist Users in Becoming More Fluent in English

A new “Speaking practice” tool in Search that assists users in honing their conversational English is being tested by Google. The tool, according to the company, is accessible to English language learners in Venezuela, Argentina, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and Argentina who have enrolled in Search Labs, a program that allows users to test out early versions of Google Search experiences.

The experiment’s objective, according to the business, is to assist users become more fluent in English by having them participate in interactive language learning activities driven by AI that will enable them to apply new terms in context.

Speaking practice expands on a tool that Google introduced in October to assist English language learners in becoming more proficient speakers of the language. Speaking practice adds the element of back-and-forth conversational practice, even though the function was introduced last year and allows English learners to practice speaking phrases in context while receiving feedback on grammar and clarity.

An X user initially noticed the feature and posted screenshots showing it in use.

Speaking exercises function by posing a conversational inquiry to the user, to which they must provide a precise word response. The screenshots suggest that the AI might inform the user that they desire to be in shape and then ask, “What should I do?” as one hypothetical scenario. Next, the user would have to respond by using the terms “exercise,” “heart,” and “tired.”

The purpose of the function is to assist learners of English in conversing in the language and learning how to use words correctly.

With the release of this new functionality, Google appears to be setting the stage for a serious rival to language learning applications such as Duolingo and Babbel. Google has already experimented with educational and language-learning resources. Google introduced a service that let users practice pronouncing words correctly back in 2019.

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