Immigrants are having affairs with ELSA

Last night on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Salma Hayek shared her suspicion that her husband was having an affair with his pronunciation coach.

It turned out that those flirtatious text messages on her husband’s phone were coming from an app named ELSA.   Hayek’s French husband, François-Henri Pinault, France’s third richest man, just wanted to learn how to enunciate his vowels better. Phew!

But why would a billionaire want to change his accent?

“Because English is like Switzerland.”

Hayek says in her Spanish accent.

Hayek is originally from Mexico. At home, English is the neutral territory where her and her husband can communicate on.  Hayek and her husband’s accents, although very sexy, pose barriers to them understanding each other and connecting with their daughter, who speaks with no accent.

“It’s a disaster at home.”

Salma Hayek confesses.

If you, like Salma Hayek and her husband, have an accent, you’re not alone. There are 1.5 billion people like you around the world who are trying to to reduce their accents.

Aside from the lack of comprehension created by thick accents, immigrants face more severe implications.  When accents get in the way of communication, it can be an impediment at school, at work, and in social situations.  

When Vu Van, the founder of ELSA, first immigrated to America from Vietnam, she was rejected from a consulting job interview  because she mispronounced spreadsheet as “spread shit.”

Traditionally, immigrants have turned to speech lessons offered by private tutors and group classes. But as one ELSA user explains:

“Getting a tutor is beyond my budget. And with group classes, I can’t get the personal attention that I need.”  

Immigrants often find themselves stuck with their heavy accents, with no good way to improve.

Now for the first time, immigrants like Pinault are turning to ELSA.  One ELSA user, Hiroshi, a 30 year old engineer from Japan, feels that ELSA is critical to his future. “To tell you the truth, ELSA has made me comfortable with staying in America.” he reflects.

“If it wasn’t for ELSA, I would have moved back to my home country.”

Pinaut, Hiroshi, and many more immigrants are continuing their affairs with ELSA.

Meet the new ELSA 2.0

Since ELSA 1.0 released in March 2016, nearly half a million users from more than 100 countries  have enjoyed learning with ELSA.  You told us what you wanted, and we listened.

We have been working tirelessly to make the best virtual speech coach even quicker, sharper, and smarter. Today, we’re thrilled to introduce ELSA 2.0 – available to all users (Android first). This new version has been redesigned around you – to help your learning become easier, faster, and more fun.

What you’ll discover in ELSA 2.0:

You’ll find 400+ lessons with 2000+ most common English words ranging across a variety of daily-life topics, so you can practice the “real-world” conversations like ordering food and drinks at restaurants, checking in at the airport or landing your dream job.  


Learning should be fun! We have redesigned ELSA to bring even more fun to your learning experience. You’ll soon realize that by mastering each skill (scoring 80% or above of that skill), you’ve conquered a planet in a whole galaxy system, and will have the motivation to come back for more. It’s not only learning, it’s a mission now!


Starting today, your learning with ELSA will become a unique experience for you and only you. Take an assessment test with ELSA, and the new curriculum will be tailored to your level of English proficiency, enabling you to improve faster. This means that you’ll improve quicker by only focusing on the weakest parts.  ELSA listens to you, and like a personal speech coach would, it challenges you where you need practice.


Probably one of the most important things about learning is tracking your progress. Now in ELSA 2.0 you can see your overall speaking proficiency score and easily track your improvement over time. Additionally, the Word Bank feature allows you to come back and practice any words you’re still stuck on from your prior sessions.


With all of these changes in the new version, we are also announcing that ELSA will offer you 7 days for free with unlimited learning content. After that, we will charge a very minimum amount so that everyone can afford it. However, if you still want to use ELSA but can’t afford the amount, please reach out to us. We’ll be happy to consider offering you alternative ways to get premium features so that you can unlock your potential. We do believe that English is for all.

Try the new app and let us know your thoughts!

The new version is now available for Android. The iOS app will be ready for beta testing in a few weeks. Please use the app and reach out to us at if you have any ideas or feedback, we’d love to hear from you!

This is the start of a new stage for ELSA, and from now on it can only get better. Let’s start exploring!