Connecting people it’s what SPEAK is all about! Sharing experiences and fostering meaningful relationships and interactions between people. Life today is more virtual than ever before — due to the covid-19 pandemic —, so we need to adapt to make those connections as real, fun and authentic as possible. In other words, new situations call for new solutions, and that’s why we’ve been trying to adapt to our community members’ needs. 

In fact, for me the most fun part about SPEAK is to stay connected with the people you meet in the language group sessions. I find it very enriching to get to know people from so many different places and there is so much to learn from each other. However, this was a bit tricky with the old version, by only being able to chat and interact with each other through our website. But you know what? We’ve listened to your feedback thoroughly and now we have some great news for you!

SPEAK’s app is powered by:

SPEAK app for mobile! 

We’re very happy to announce that we’re bringing to you a new and improved experience with the launch of the SPEAK app for mobile! Connecting people is becoming easier and easier.

With the new SPEAK app we want to provide you with a handier and more accessible way to chat and stay connected with your group: Directly from your smartphone, anytime and anywhere. Even more: on the SPEAK app you’ll find support materials for the sessions, summarized versions of the guide for buddies, SPEAK events, community stories, a brand new interface… and many more features. Aren’t you curious already? Download the app and check it out to see what’s new for you! 

In the following lines we’ll guide you through what’s new with the SPEAK app. 

What’s new with the SPEAK app to help connecting people:

1. Explore page

This is the homepage, where you can find four main sections that are relevant for your SPEAK experience:

“About SPEAK” supporting articles

If you’re new at SPEAK and want to get to know the project better, this is a good starting point. Here you can have a look at our supporting articles, where you’ll find information about: 

  • Our mission and informal approach to language learning: connect with the world
  • How to join a language group to learn a new language while meeting people from all over the world. 
  • Our buddies’ program and how to help others learn a language
  • SPEAK’s impact: if you’re curious about social impact, you can check this out.
Language groups

This section displays all language groups available in your city, as well as the online groups available in other cities. This means that you can connect online with SPEAKers around the world and access more language learning opportunities.

We’ve also added a more detailed description of the learning goals and themes for each language group. This way you’ll know what you’re about to learn before you decide to sign up. 

SPEAK events

Connecting people through events! Language and cultural exchanges, quizzes, online talks, are among the fun and informal events you can sign up to!

Community stories

We have dedicated a space in the Explore page to share success stories and experiences from our community members. Get inspired by the amazing SPEAK community!

2. Buddies compliments

You will probably agree with me if I say that everyone likes to get recognition and acknowledgement for a job well done. That’s why, through the SPEAK app, you’ll be able to share some love with your buddies after a great session, by sending to them different compliments and badges that we’ve prepared for you! 

3. Connecting people through group’s Chat

We’re always looking for easier and more accessible ways to connect and communicate with each other. Our smartphones allow us to get in touch with anyone in a very quick and easy way. We didn’t want to miss the chance to provide you with a Chat where you can connect with the people you meet through your SPEAK journey. Therefore, you’ll have access to the chats of your ongoing and past language groups under the tab named “Chats”. You can always stay in touch with the participants and buddies from your current group, and also from previous ones. 

4. Your new SPEAK journey

At the core of the SPEAK app is the tab called “Groups”, which includes a brand new interface for your language group’s experience, with three main new features:

  • Challenges between sessions,
  • automatically uploaded materials and a 
  • mobile-friendly version of the guide for buddies.

The idea behind this new interface is that you’ll be able to follow your evolution and progress during the language groups you join. Because the SPEAK experience goes way beyond the sessions, you’ll have access to multiple opportunities that will transform your learning and sharing experience! 

4.1 Challenges between sessions

This is definitely my favourite feature of the app, as it expands the language learning experience beyond the sessions. We’ve come up with fun and interactive challenges that will help you practice the vocabulary that you learnt, while sharing with your group. You can find these challenges on the tab “Groups”. These challenges will be unlocked progressively at the end of each session and you can review in a fun way what you learnt in your last session. Besides the language learning component, each challenge includes a “sharing” goal, so you can all share fun and interesting facts about yourselves and your cultures. Let’s share our world! 

The challenges can be posted on the group Chat so everyone can comment on each others’ challenges and keep the fun and learning going. This is what SPEAK is all about!

4.2. Automatically uploaded materials 

The other two features that are changing the rules of the game are: 1) support materials and 2) guidance for both buddies and participants. 

With the app, buddies will no longer have to manually upload the SPEAK materials, one by one. With the app, we’re introducing and uploading the materials automatically. The materials will always be visible and accessible for buddies and participants, anytime. We’ve structured the materials in a mobile-friendly way: only one document per session, each of them including ready-to-use activities, vocabulary items for each theme and fun exercises and games.

4.3. Mobile-friendly version of the buddies’ guide

We also want our buddies to be able to plan and prepare the sessions in a more flexible and lighter way. This is why we’ve adapted the guides for buddies to our mobile version. Now buddies can always check a mobile-friendly version of the guide for buddies. The guides include tips, suggestions and guidance for each session. This new version of the guide for buddies is clickable and visible anytime. You can literally prepare your sessions from anywhere, anytime! 

It’s important to mention that, at the moment, these three features are only available for a few language levels (English Basic I and II). We’re continuously working towards expanding to all our different language levels. 

Conclusion:

We’re super excited for you to explore and benefit from these new features. This app was built based on your valuable feedback and with the ultimate goal of improving your experience. It doesn’t stop here: Keep your suggestions and feedback coming in. We’d like to hear from you and to bring the SPEAK experience to the next level! 

A big thank you to Outsystems and Google who are helping us building great technology for impact. <3

If you are a technology lover and want to know more about how to create impact through technology check our post here.

Let’s stay connected and access any language group here.

Author: Ricardo

Ricardo is Community Experience Specialist at SPEAK. He loves cooking and likes to experiment with cocktails.
He’s obsessed with music, all day everyday, so he’s always looking for new songs to add to his playlists.
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Author: Mariana Brilhante

Mariana is Chief Marketing Officer at SPEAK, she loves nature and adventure, has a sort of obsession for typical sayings!

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