UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology


Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about the Listen-In app


Interested in Listen-In for your speech and language therapy service? Click here for more information.


About Listen-In

Who is Listen-In for?

Listen-In is a digital therapy app for people with aphasia who have difficulty understanding spoken words.

The therapy is designed for people with aphasia caused by stroke. It may also be helpful for people who have aphasia due to other kinds of brain injury.

Listen-In is not designed for childhood language disorders, or to treat hearing loss.

How does Listen-In work?

Listen-In uses repetition to rebuild associations between spoken words and their meanings, represented as pictures.

Who made Listen-In?

Listen-In has been developed by a team of people with expertise in speech and language therapy, neurology, psychology, games development, and a 'patient expert' with personal experience of aphasia.

During development, we involved people with aphasia in the design of the app. We held five focus group over approximately one year. These groups helped to shape the outcome of the final app.

Is Listen-In a medical device?

Yes, Listen-In has been self certified as a Class I Medical Device with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Manufacturer: Prof Alex Leff, University College London

How was Listen-In funded?

This study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Invention for Innovtion (i4i) Programme (Award Reference Number II-LB-0813-20004).

Are there any side effects?

No serious adverse side effects of using Listen-In were reported in the clinical trial.

Some users reported that they experienced fatigue when using the app. We suggest you go at your own pace, and take a break if you begin to feel tired.

Below are some other possible side effects that may occur when using a tablet device for long periods of time. If you experience any of these unwanted side effects, take a break from Listen-In and continue when you feel better.

  • Fatigue
  • Eyestrain
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision


Is there any research on Listen-In?

Listen-In has been tested in clinical trial with 35 participants with aphasia. The results have been published in a peer-reviewed academic journal.

For a summary, please return to the home page.

Can I take part in future research?

Yes, we are inviting all Listen-In users to take part in our ongoing research study.

We would like to collect your data, so we can answer new research questions, and improve the app.

When you download Listen-In, you can decide whether you want to take part:

  • If you agree, we will collect your data, and use it in our research study.
  • If you do not agree, you can still use the app, but we will not use your data in our research study.

Download the information sheet for more details:

PDF iconInformation Sheet

Getting started

How do I set up a Google Play account?

Click here to watch an aphasia-friendly guide to setting up a Google Play account.

What happens after I download the app?

Before you start therapy, there are a few steps to complete. The app will take you through these one at a time:

  1. Set up a new account.
  2. Decide whether to take part in the research trial. If you agree, we will ask you a few questions, to learn more about you.
  3. Complete two tasks:
    These will explore your understanding of spoken words, and your attention.
    (You will complete these at regular intervals, after you finish practising your chosen words).
  4. Choose word sets to practise.
  5. Begin therapy.

Click here to watch some demonstration videos of Listen-In.


What does the therapy involve?

Listen-In uses repetitive tasks that aim to rebuild associations between heard words and their meaning.

In the task, you will listen to a word or sentence, and then choose the matching picture.

There are always between 3 and 6 pictures to choose from, but only one is correct.

The other pictures are 'foils'. The 'foils' have been carefully hand selected for every challenge. These include:

  • Pictures that sound similar to the word that you hear. For example: 'pear' and 'hare'. 
  • Pictures that have a related meaning to the word you hear. For example: 'knife' and 'fork'.
  • Pictures that are not related to the word you hear, in sound or meaning.

You will recieve feedback on every challenge, so you can learn, or re-learn, the correct word and picture pairing.

Here is an example challenge from Listen-In:

  • The heard word is 'icicle'
  • Two of these pictures sound similar: 'bicycle' and 'tricycle'
  • Three of these pictures have a related meaning: 'icecubes', 'iceberg' and 'snowball'

Correct therapy challenge


Click here to watch some demonstration videos of Listen-In.

How much will I improve?

We cannot say how much you will improve as this varies across different people.

In the research trial, 30 out of 35 individuals made improvements for practiced words.

What words are included in the therapy?

Listen-In includes:

- Over 900 words from all main word groups, including nouns, verbs, adjectives, prepositions and pronouns.

- More than 6000 audio recordings. These have been professioanally recorded by a range of male and female speakers.

- Over 4000 photographs. These have been carefully hand selected for every therapy question.

How will I know if Listen-In therapy works for me?

There are a few ways to see if the therapy is working for you:

  • The app will give you feedback on every word and picture pairing. Over time, you can see how your performance changes.
  • You will complete a spoken word comprehension task every time you finish your chosen word sets.
    The app will show your last score and your current score.
    You can use these to see how your comprehension changes over time.
  • You might notice your understanding improves during everyday listening and conversation.


How much does Listen-In cost?

Listen-In is free for the first 7 days.

After that, there is a subscription fee of £5 a month.

The subscription fee helps us cover ongoing costs, including technical support, updates, and maintenance.

How do I pay for my subscription?

All payments are made on the Google Play store.

How do I cancel my subscription?

Your subscription will automatically renew each month.

You can cancel at any time on Google Play (click here for instructions).

Your subscription will continue until you cancel it on Google Play. This means you will continue to pay the fee until you cancel, even if you don't use the app.

Technical information

The app is not working, what can I do?

Please uninstall Listen-In from your device. Then, reinstall the app from Google Play.

If you still experience a problem, please email us for technical support at listen-in@ucl.ac.uk

Please note, we may take a few days to reply.

Will Listen-In work on my tablet?

Listen-In will work on the majority of Android tablet devices. For example: Samsung, Google, LG, Lenovo, Nokia and Huawei.

The app will work on any android tablet that uses Android version 5.0 or higher. This covers the majority of Android tablets available to purchase today. If you are in doubt, please check with the seller to ensure that the tablet is using Android version 5.0 or higher. 

Listen-In is currently not available on Apple devices.

Can I use Listen-In on my computer or phone?

No, Listen-In is currently only available for Android tablets.

Still have a question?

Contact us: listen-in@ucl.ac.uk