The way that people learn to the English language has changed dramatically over the last few decades.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to influence our world in ways previously unimaginable, and the way we learn shall be no exception. So, the question remains: in an era driven by artificial intelligence, what will English language learning look like?
What is AI English Learning?
AI English learning is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools for the purpose of teaching English. Such tools include speech-to-text, text-to-speech, and natural language understanding, which allows conversations to respond and evolve based on user feedback. Intelligent algorithms can also be used to score and give detailed pronunciation feedback to the learners.
What are the different applications of AI English?
- Conversational chatbots for English speaking practice, like TalkTown
- Toy robots that chat with children
- Pronunciation-focused tools that score the learner’s pronunciation
- Assessment engines that assist the teacher in scoring speech
- Adaptive and personalized lessons based on the learner’s needs
- Machine translation
What are the advantages of using AI tools in language learning?
- AI can do things that humans cannot do, such as analyze English down to the phoneme and understand how your language skills have improved over time almost instantly.
- They are truly available any time, anywhere (sometimes even without the internet).
- AI tools are a more affordable and effective option for practicing spoken English.
- They are more scalable and can serve a lot more students than humans can.
- They can accelerate learning through increased practice frequency, with such frequency impossible with human teachers alone.
- AI tools offer a pressure-free learning environment for those lacking confidence in their speaking ability.
What are the disadvantages of AI English?
- AI language learning tools cannot – as yet – have conversations that are as fluid and free form as you could with a human.
- They sometimes don’t understand you exactly, especially if they are trained on different accents or speech patterns.
- They lack emotional connectivity.
How has English learning changed over the years?
Several technological changes, like the rise of the PC, the internet, social networks, shared economy, and conversational user interfaces have made an impact on how English is learned. The infographic below will take you on a brief history of the evolution of English learning.
What is the future of AI English?
In terms of the future, there will be more widespread adoption of AI language learning tools in schools. In Japan, for example, students have already begun learning English from AI robots.
Also, voice technology tools are being perfected for children’s voices. Over time, we should have engines that can understand children better and better.
It will be no surprise if there are more languages that can be learned with AI tools. Collecting voice data to train a speech engine is time-consuming, but as more voice data becomes available, more voice engines in other languages will be developed, allowing for the learning of other languages through AI tools.
The role of language teachers will undoubtedly change with the introduction of these tools. Teachers will be able to truly work with students on their areas of weakness, develop eloquence and logic when speaking the target language, and basically help students at a higher level in every area. Frequent practice and repetition remain vital when learning a language, but if the AI tools can help with that, it leaves the teachers free to address the more subtle distinctions of tone and emotional connection required to really master a language.
Curious to see our AI English learning solution? Check it out here!