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©️Pop2Talk 2020

About Us

Our vision is to build a world where language communications skills enable better economies and societies overall. To achieve this we believe that it's best to start from children.

We all learn to master our native language by speaking and listening. Therefore, we believe that the best learning outcomes with foreign languages, too, could be accomplished by early speech rehearsal.

But how to engage and motivate children for foreign-language speech rehearsal?

Our solution is to combine foreign-language learning with two novel elements, namely, gaming and a speech-based user interface that utilizes cutting-edge speech technology and machine learning.


Speech-based user interface encourages children to speak the target language as speech is needed to proceed in the game. To aid learning, the game gives learners feedback by assigning stars according to computational scoring of pronunciation attempts.

Pop2Talk is an English pronunciation game and is developed together with children, parents and teachers.

Children get to teach English to space animals (who are preparing to land to earth) and have fun by being a teacher and a learner at the same time!

Children enjoy popping the stones in the game and can't wait for cards to turn so that they can start speaking English and get stars for pronunciation.

The game is developed using the latest Finnish pedagogical approach, brain research and makes learning fun and it's educational. We have tested language learning games with hundreds of children in Finland and the UK. 

Pop2Talk is best suited for 5-8 year old children. 

We are a team of speech recognition experts, brain researchers, game developers, graphic designers, commercialisation, phonetical and educational experts. We represent Aalto University and Faculty of Educational Sciences and Cognitive Brain Research Unit, University of Helsinki. The project is funded by Business Finland.

Meet the Team

Mikko Kurimo

Professor, PhD

Speech Recognition Group,

Aalto University

Sari Ylinen

Adjunct Professor (Cognitive Neuroscience), PhD

Faculty of Educational Sciences,

University of Helsinki

Maria Sipilä


Reima Karhila


Researcher Speech Technology

Anna-Riikka Smolander

Linguistic and Pedagogical Lead

Vertti Viitanen

Game Lead

Eeva Halmila

Graphic Designer

Aino Hiltunen

Phonetical and

Pedagogical Specialist

Liisa Koponen

Pedagogical Specialist


Saana Hyttinen

Linguistic and Pedagogical Specialist

Liisa Koivusalo

Linguistic and Pedagogical Specialist

Elena China-Kolehmainen

Linguistic and Pedagogical Specialist

Alexander Thorarinsson

Back-End Developer

Emil Dewald

Game Developer