Let us introduce you to a whole new way of learning a language. Amazon’s Alexa is the personal assistant that Amazon has developed to allow people to get information, communicate, play, and manage music playback and control home automation devices inside the home. And now… thanks to the ‘Skills’ app, which are real additional mini apps created by the developers in order that people can customize Alexa’s behavior by adding new features.
What this means therefore, is that people can now download programs to help them learn alongside Alex – kind of like having assistance at home who can monitor your progress. Basically, you can improve, correct, practice and repeat your knowledge of English through the many options that a language course offers.
In this case, Bolognese developer Cosimo Lorusso has put his skills to good use and developed an English language course (see below for link). The skill is available for all main Echo devices with lessons covering only basic level for now. Lorusso admits though that he is working diligently to produce more advanced courses with more lessons and functionality.
Among the various features that the skill allows:
– “English lessons” on verbs, alphabet, dates, numbers, articles, comparatives and superlatives, countable and non-countable nouns, plurals, phrasal verbs, colours;
– “Reading texts” in English to improve comprehension and listening through the reproduction of proverbs in English;
– “Quiz” on the present lessons;
– “Common phrases” that can be listened to randomly or precisely by requesting the topic. For example, sentences typically used in dangerous situations, holiday circumstances etc. For this particular functionality, the skill provides the user with sufficient time to repeat the phrase that Alexa has reproduced;
– “Statistics” that allow the skill to monitor the user’s progress, allowing the user to realize where he/she spent most of the time while using the skill.