Help With the "Speaking Practice" Activity
Are you having trouble with the speaking questions? Is your microphone not recording sound? This guide covers the most common questions and issues that come up:
How it Works:
- Read more here if your score seems lower than expected
- However, if you're consistently getting the nothing was recognized error or getting 1% every time, keep reading below. This indicates a technical problem.
This feature is a work in progress, so we are still making tweaks to improve it. Whatever the problem may be, your detailed feedback really helps us find problems and refine these features. First, to save time, we'll go through some of the most common solutions:
1. Allow the microphone
Did you get one of these errors?: " Nothing was recognized" or "The request is not allowed by the user agent" Or do you hear nothing when you play back your recording?
This usually means that the microphone has not been allowed / enabled in your browser. Usually the browser will ask you whether you want to allow the microphone, but if it doesn't, you'll have to find it in your settings and set it to either "Ask" or "Allow" (instead of "Block"). This is usually found under something like Security or Permissions. (Contact us if you can't find it.)
Also make sure the microphone is not muted and, if you're using an external microphone, that it's properly connected.
2. Update your web browser
The site works best on modern devices and browsers that are updated to the latest version. You can check if your browser is up to date by going to https://www.whatismybrowser.com. Here is a guide on how to update different browsers: https://www.whatismybrowser.com/guides/how-to-update-your-browser/
3. Turn off Adblockers
Our site needs to communicate with the speech API that processes your recording. Sometimes adblockers can prevent that. Try disabling adblockers or other browser plugins while using our site, especially if you notice the loading wheel is stuck spinning.
4. Windows 10 users - Check Privacy settings
- Open Start menu and type Privacy settings.
- Go to Microphone
- Allow apps to access your microphone AND Allow Desktop apps to access your microphone.
- Restart the browser.
It's Recording, But I Hear Audio Glitches, Crackles or Pops
(That sounds like a new Rice Crispies slogan… nevermind). If you listen to your recording and hear audio glitches, this is probably affecting our ability to analyze your recording. Read here to troubleshoot: Audio Glitches While Recording Voice
Contact Us if None of These Solutions Help
When you get to a speaking question that is causing you trouble, use the "Report a Problem" button to let us know. This is a big help, since we'll know right away which phrase you're referring to. If you don't mind, please select the option to "Include my recording" when you submit the report.
Please also include the following information. This will save a lot of time with troubleshooting so that we can get things back to normal for you as quickly as possible:
1. Describe what happened in as much detail as possible
2. Describe which troubleshooting steps (above) you have tried, if any. Did it make any difference?
3. Go to https://mictests.com. Are you able to record successfully with this tool?
This helps narrow the problem down to a hardware issue (something with your device), a permissions issue (something in your settings is blocking the microphone from being used), or a bug on our end.
Disabling the Speaking Activity
Don't want to practice speaking right now? You can disable this feature here: Lesson Settings by clicking the toggle button and then Save.