The Blue Canoe Pronunciation Score: Words and Sentences

“When I practice my spoken English with Blue Canoe, how can I tell if I am improving?” This is a common question, and the Blue Canoe Pronunciation Score is an important part of the answer.

Confidence and Comprehensibility. At Blue Canoe, we take you beyond ‘knowing’ English to ‘doing’ English. Our games and activities help move your spoken English from the realm of intelligibility to the heights of comprehensibility. How well are you able to express yourself and be understood when speaking in English?  Do you have the confidence to say the words and phrases you want to say? When you say them, does your audience easily understand you? This is the goal!

The Blue Canoe Pronunciation Score. To help “measure” your progress towards that goal, we have created the Blue Canoe Pronunciation Score as an objective standard. It evaluates the intelligibility of your words, not your choice of vocabulary or grammar. After you record yourself in one of the Blue Canoe activities, the Blue Canoe proprietary AI (machine learning) evaluates your speech on a scale from 100 to 500. We average your scores over time, giving more weight to your more recent scores.

It changes s-l-o-w-l-y. To improve intelligibility, you have to teach your brain to notice syllabic stress and then create it in the right spots, and you have to teach your brain to accurately perceive and produce the 14 key vowel sounds of English. (There is obviously more to speaking comprehensibly, but we start with those two things.) Since your brain learned the sounds and rhythms of your first language so well, it will take many many repetitions of the new sounds — using our visual, music and kinesthetic parts of our brain to help — to make these changes. Be patient. If you start exercising you don’t expect your cardiovascular health to improve immediately, and it is similar with pronunciation.

“To improve intelligibility…you have to teach your brain to accurately perceive and produce the 14 key vowel sounds of English.”

Word Scores. When you play Color it Out, we evaluate the intelligibility of the final target word you say in each turn. You are getting a lot of help to say the word correctly, because the Color Vowel anchor phrase is priming your brain to focus on the key vowel sound in the word, which immediately improves the comprehensibility. In your Profile, you can see your Blue Canoe Pronunciation Score for your words. 

Sentence Scores. When you practice Sentences in Blue Canoe, you immediately get a percentage evaluation, which is telling you how well you did in saying that particular sentence in a way that would be easily understood. This is not your Blue Canoe Pronunciation Score. In your Profile, you can see your Blue Canoe Pronunciation Score for your sentences. You will most likely notice that your Sentence Score is lower than your Word Score — this is expected, because saying a sentence is more challenging than saying a word, especially without the priming effect of the Color Vowel anchor phrase. 

Blue Canoe Pronunciation Score. Your overall Blue Canoe Pronunciation Score is a combination of your Word Score and your Sentence Score, with more emphasis on the Sentence Score since speaking sentences is the goal.

How fast will my Pronunciation Score improve? Everyone is different. However, if you practice and meet your Daily Goal multiple times a week (more is better!), on average you will see your Blue Canoe Pronunciation Score increase as follows:

  • First 30 days: 10 Points
  • First 90 days: 20 – 30 Points
  • First 6 months: 30 – 50 Points
  • First year: 40 – 70 Points