Tag Archives: text to speech

Mind-Blowing: the Most Realistic AI Text-to-Speech Software, Ever!

This free AI text-to-speech tool is a real game-changer!

Until a few weeks ago, whenever my students asked me about using text-to-speech (TTS) apps to help them improve their pronunciation, I told them, in no uncertain terms, that it was not a good idea.

That was until a few weeks ago. That was before Artificial Intelligence revolutionized our world.  Have you read my previous article about the jaw-dropping Chat GPT? Have you already tried it?

As I said above, that was until a few weeks ago. But  Ohhh ! I have changed my mind! I am not kidding!!! This free AI text-to-speech tool is a real game-changer! And it is really going to help students struggling with pronunciation.  So if you, like me, have always been put off by text-to-speech apps because of their robotic-sounding voices, you’re going to be blown away by this software. It’s hands-down the best I’ve ever used. Full disclosure: I’m not sponsored by this text-to-speech software (although I wish I were – it’s that good!).

Just listen here

 How to get started!
  1.  People at Eleven Labs are so confident about their product, that you can try it before even signing in. Wanna try it? Go to ElevenLabs. To generate speech, copy/paste or type a small text (up to 333 characters), choose a pre-made voice, hit generate and listen. Impressive, isn’t it? You can even download it!
  2. But…. more is coming!!!! It is free, well, Freemium. If you decide to sign up for free, you have a quota of 10,000 characters/month, although you need to know that the maximum number of characters you can generate in a single request on the platform using the free plan is 2,500.
  3. More? Yes! You can also adjust the Settings for Stability and Similarity to make the voice more expressive, varied or clear. I would suggest that you play with the Settings to find the voice you are looking for.

Important:It is still in beta and  each generation, with any adjustment, will lead to quota being deducted from your account.

I have also applied for a free Education account, and I am waiting to hear back from them.

Four Excellent Sites for Online Dictations

Oh boy. Does it bring back memories!
Dictations! To be completely honest with you, I have mixed feelings as regards dictations. I remember back in primary school when the language teacher gave us lots of dictations like a well-deserved break after a tough grammar lesson; and then, this feeling of “I don’t want to ever hear the word dictation again” that I got from my classes at university where the teacher gave us one-page-long dictations so quickly that when he finished, he was panting for breath, and we were seeing red.

Although doing dictations is somewhat regarded as an old-fashioned technique, it is undeniable that a lot of benefits can be derived from doing this exercise. In fact, it is an integrative activity requiring the use of various skills like listening, writing and reading -when you read the passage you have written, looking for grammar or spelling mistakes. You might even add speaking if the dictation is used as a prompt to encourage discussion of the passage.

In case you are not fully convinced that dictations also have their place in the twenty-first century classroom, here are some more benefits you might want to consider:
• It improves spelling.
• It improves recognition of grammatically correct sentences.
• It helps students distinguish sounds in continuous speech.
• It improves students’ awareness of punctuation.
• It gives students practice in comprehending and helps them gain fluency in writing.

If I have managed to convince you, here are some links to online dictations you might want to try or if you are a teacher, heartily recommend to your students.

Dictations Online. (not working anymore)

This site specializes in dictations and although it is free, you can sign in to do more dictations or keep track of your score and view your score history. They are graded from elementary to advanced.

The students hear the dictation four times

  • The first time, the whole passage is read at normal speed to listen for gist.
  • The second time, each phrase is read slowly twice, with punctuation.
  • Then the whole passage is read again to check your work.
  • And finally, the written text is shown for you to see your mistakes.


I like the site. It is very user-friendly. The dictations are graded going from Elementary, with short recordings of one or two phrases, to Advanced with recordings of one or two paragraphs.

Learn English free

This site features two levels: elementary and intermediate. It has a very clean interface where you’ll see two recording of the same dictation. One recorded at a normal speed and the other one at a slow speed with pauses to give you time to write down what you hear. You only need to follow the instructions.

ESL: English as a Second Language

Aimed at Intermediate and Upper-intermediate students, this site offers an amazing numbers of dictations

Do you like these sites or would you rather create your own dictations? Here are two online free tools to convert text to speech.



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