Digital Spoken English Lab

How is AI Upping the Game in Language Learning?


$25.73 billion – that will be the size of the online language learning market by 2027, per Verified Market Research report. From $12.49 billion, this is equivalent to a CAGR of 10.2% from 2020 to 2027, which is huge! In Europe and the UK, respectively, 92% and 70% of students are enrolled in language classes, while those numbers are 20% and 13% in the US and China.

These stats make sense as the demand for language learning has been growing exponentially. Although it’s a challenge to learn a new language, especially once we’re past 18 years old, new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) have made it a lot easier. AI makes language education accessible and free to everyone, and with a potent mix of personalized learning, immediate feedback, and gamification/rewards – fun as well.

Role of AI in Language Learning Experience

Discussions around AI are often centered on the idea of a humanoid robot. In reality, most AI applications have nothing to do with robots or replicating human cognition; instead, they leverage the vast computational capabilities of modern computers to solve problems in a much more effective way than a human can.

AI can make digital language learning personalized to each learner: reducing the time, cost, and frustration. And everyone can benefit. Enterprises can use AI-infused language learning solutions to upgrade employee skillsets. Learners can leverage the 24/7 accessibility of AI language learning to study anytime, anywhere. Even traditional schools can incorporate AI in English Language Training (ELT) and other language learning to expand their students’ horizons.

Let’s take a closer look at what benefits AI in learning can offer:

  • Adapting to individual needs

AI collects a lot of data. When analyzed, it acts as a powerful tool in the hands of educators to understand the interests and abilities of the learners and design effective programs. In a traditional classroom, it’s extremely challenging for an instructor to find the right approach for each student. But suppose AI is integrated into the learning process. In that case, learners can learn at their own pace, repeating lessons, emphasizing things they have trouble with, and engaging in tasks that appeal to them with the right cultural nuances.

  • Instant feedback

With the AI-powered language learning platform, learners don’t have to wait for someone to grade tests and come back to them; they can get instant feedback. AI can instantly point out errors and suggest ways to avoid them in the future, resulting in better performance. From the data, even instructors can see what can be improved in their lectures or practical assignments, what questions are misleading, and which learners need additional guidance.

  • Suitable for all kinds of learners

Some learners are introverts and are shy to ask questions or receive feedback publicly, per the common feedback from ELT classes. AI-infused English language learning software or other language platforms help such learners tremendously through objective one-on-one feedbacks without any biases or judgements.

  • A redefined role for instructors

Contrary to popular opinion, AI-based language learning platforms won’t take away the jobs of instructors. Instead, with AI language learning doing the grading and the paperwork, ELT and other language instructors will have more time to coordinate the learning process and mentor students. They can also don the hat of data scientists themselves and analyze and use the data to design innovative learning processes and experiences.

  • Deeper involvement of learners

With AI, learners can learn from anywhere at their own pace. Additionally, through innovative features like games, puzzles, or other exploratory activities, they will become more engaged in the learning process than traditional learning.   

Applications of AI in Language Learning

1. Vocabulary building: Advanced new machine learning models have made significant progress in teaching grammar, syntax, and other linguistic principles. A popular language learning app offers a skill tree of lessons that uses listening exercises, flashcards, and multiple-choice questions to build learners’ vocabulary. Yet another app has a feature called “Learn with Locals,” which pairs words with videos of native speakers saying the phrase out loud. Some apps also use data patterns to great effect with a concept called spaced repetition, where lessons are delivered over longer intervals by increasing the gap between practice sessions. This greatly aids in vocabulary building in contrast to the traditional methods of several lessons crammed in over a short period.

2. Voice recognition: Speech or voice recognition technologies can aid significantly in learning a new language as they help learners finetune their intonation and pronunciation. And practicing with an English language learning software or app, for that matter, can also take away some of the intimidation element of talking to a native speaker. For example, a multilingual app has a speech recognition feature that lets you speak words back during an exercise. Similarly, another language app tests your speaking skills with a simulated conversation – you’ll hear a prompt spoken by a native speaker and will also see the words and their translations on the screen.

3. Automated essay scoring (AES): This involves using specialized computer programs, such as Natural Language Programming (NLP), to assign grades to essays for evaluation processes. One such tool uses a machine learning model that learns from a set of responses previously determined by experts. The model takes into account syntactic, rhetorical, and concept features of a written piece. It also focuses on the sentence structure, elaboration technique, organization, and focus of the overall essay to give a final score. Another point to note here is that in the past, the digital applications were not able to provide feedback on spoken and written English. Today’s advanced AI models can recognize patterns in speech recognition and assessments to give personalized feedback.

4. Analytics: Most language learning apps and specially designed English language learning software use analytics to offer exceptional learning experiences. Some learners prefer to learn during the weekends while some would like to cram everything in their schedule on weekdays to leave their weekends free. Various learning apps AI algorithms can spot these patterns to deliver personalized learning lessons – whether it’s bite-size snackable videos or long text chunks.

The Future

Language skills remain essential to everyday life, whether it’s communicating with friends, family, or in a business context. Learning, in general, is also good for mental well-being as besides helping us connect with the wider world and other cultures, it’s an excellent booster for brain, self-esteem, and confidence.

Advancements in AI will only make learning languages better. Technology adds vibrancy to language learning that enables us to learn more quickly and easily than ever before. Today’s language learning apps’ proprietary machine learning algorithms mean there’s no need for language experts to spend a lot of time on the structure and order of teaching, leaving enough time for instructors to innovate and learners to learn effectively.

A reliable digital learning company can make the language learning experience effortless and help organizations and learners adapt to the most recent and relevant digital learning content delivery methodologies and mediums. Liqvid is a pioneer in English language learning technology and content solutions. We recently launched the world’s first AI-based language learning product called Vocabulary Builder for learners training for competitive English language exams like IELTS, TOFEL, GRE, etc.

Contact us today to see how we can create interactive language learning experiences for you!

Read More
Free Software For English Language Lab

4 Technologies That Are Transforming eLearning

  • GSK Vaccines launched a custom project as part of their global onboarding event to introduce new hires to the business structure via a simulation game – a mix of live role-play and digital eLearning elements, including news-style videos and an online player dashboard.
  • New hires at Toyota Motor Europe get an interactive video onboarding tour consisting of quizzes and videos to see the customer value chain from beginning to end.
  • Tesco’s annual mandatory compliance campaign – Learning Leap – combines mini eLearning modules with microlearning quizzes and a gamified leaderboard to drive participation.

There are countless examples like these, which underscore the importance of technology in eLearning content development today. Gone are those static screens with long winding text. eLearning is evolving at a rapid pace, part of which is driven by emerging technologies, the gig economy, and automation, rapidly changing the nature of work and resulting in a “skills gap.” To top it, the disruption of face-to-face learning due to the pandemic pushed eLearning content development to new highs.

Consider this – eLearning industry growth is projected to increase from $101 billion in 2019 to $370 billion by 2026. And the growing need for students and employees to keep up with changes serves well for the eLearning industry. It’s a win-win for all as effective eLearning content can contribute measurably to a well-trained staff who can steer an enterprise to measurable growth.

So, How Is Technology Shaping the Industry?

In 2020, 90% of companies used eLearning as a training tool, according to Corporate E-learning – Global Market Outlook (2017-2026) report. It’s only going to pick up the pace with the introduction of new gadgets, innovative tools for trainers, and cutting-edge equipment that have enabled new eLearning experiences. Here are just a few emerging technologies that have taken the eLearning world by storm.

1. Virtual Reality (VR) – It comes with the promise of enhanced engagement, improved retention, and experiential learning. For instance, American Airlines’ VR training solution allows its cabin crew to explore the aircraft at their own pace and includes several passenger scenarios and practical guidance on performing tasks when airborne. Or take the example of the construction equipment rental company, United Rentals, which leveraged VR training solutions in its classroom. The trainer asks everyone questions based on real-life job scenarios, such as safety concerns. This allows the entire group to learn and participate in the VR experience even when they are not wearing the headset.

2. Augmented Reality (AR) – AR goes one step above VR by offering a composite view, making the learning process more interesting and easier to grasp. Plus, its promise of affordability makes it prime for adaptation even by small and mid-size companies. You don’t have to look far than Pokemon Go to realize the power of AR and its use is widespread.

For example, Deakin University in Australia uses an AR app to teach students to perform ECG procedures. The app features a 3D model of a heart with normal and abnormal cardiogram patterns and blood flow simulation with built-in testing modules to check what students have learned. While German industrial giant Bosch has its own AR platform, displaying wiring and block diagrams that help service technicians and consumers repair cars.

3. Artificial Intelligence (AI) – AI tools are increasingly used to spot the difficult topics for students, identify students who need additional help, and produce personalized content plans at the click of a button. Many online learning platforms use AI to deliver tailored content to students without any human involvement. Many of these platforms also use spaced repetition learning systems and AI-powered chatbots to help with queries.

Perhaps the most famous example is IBM, whose corporate training platform leverages AI to recommend content based on the employee’s role, experience, and prior training. The popular foreign language-learning app Duolingo uses the Second Language Acquisition AI model to analyze a history of errors made by learners of a second language to predict the mistakes that they are likely to make at arbitrary points in the future for personalized learning.

4. Analytics or Big Data – Big Data helps eLearning experts understand how the users digest the information, which learning aspects appeal to them, and which learning interactions should be fine-tuned. Based on these patterns, eLearning experts can predict where learners may excel or struggle.

Australian superannuation fund UniSuper built an xAPI data model to gather data on training effectiveness, success rates, responses, participation rates, completion statistics, and employee confidence across several operational risks. The resulting interactive scenarios helped the company to increase users’ self-confidence scores, leading to better compliance.

Similarly, City & Guilds’ TechBac program for 14–19-year-olds uses big data to integrate data from multiple systems, websites, and apps and displays it to learners and their tutors on its Skills Zone portal. Learners can visualize their work on the City & Guilds Skills Wheel and export this data to their own tailored CV, customizing the information they present to potential employers.

Challenging the Status Quo

Learning has always been a teacher/student interaction model in which knowledge flows from one person to another. While this is still the status quo, the latest technologies like neural networks and machine learning challenge this model.

Now, developers can build applications that can automatically collect, sort, and organize the information, leading to on-demand learning and tutoring systems. And leveraging the engaging properties of gamification makes learning a more fun experience.

Contact us today to see how we can create interactive learning experiences for you!


Read More