#99 – Language learning as the test-bunny for educational future tech
Welcome to this episode of the Pearson Future Tech for Education Series on The Edtech Podcast. My name is Sophie Bailey and each week I’ll be exploring the challenges and opportunities of future tech for education with contributors from across industry, research and academia.
What’s in this episode?
Technological change is exponential, which means it will only impact our lives more and more quickly. Among the aspects of our lives undergoing change, language usage is one of the ones being altered most drastically. New technologies also create new opportunities for learning. This is a great example of seeing both sides of change: how we must adjust and what we can take advantage of.
This week we are looking at language learning and tech. Current estimates suggest that there are over 1 billion people learning English worldwide. Recent predictions also suggest that those learning English as a Second or Foreign Language will double by the year 2020 to nearly 2 billion people. But how we learn languages is changing. Apps, MOOCs, Chatbots and online tutoring services have all worked to reduce the time and investment needed to pick up and master a language. Whilst voice recognition services like Amazon Alexa or Google Home have made practicing languages even easier right in your home. At the more extreme end some advanced technologies have even brought into question whether learning a language in the traditional sense will be needed in the future. And, should it be humans or machines testing second language acquisition?
Bill has a joint PhD in Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Science, and a master’s degree in Second Language Studies. His interests and work have been in growth modeling, data visualization, learning and memory for sequences, foreign language psycholinguistics, and second language teaching and testing. In addition to the US, Bill has lived and worked in France, Italy, Ecuador, Japan, Hawaii, and Brazil.
Nathan Harris, Director of User Experience and Design, Pearson
Nathan leads User Experience (UX) teams in the UK, USA, India and Poland, in the iterative conceptualisation, development, design and evaluation of products and services. Together they develop compelling and effective user experiences that combine technology and content in ways that engage and delight learners and teachers.
Quotes from this episode
Tell us your story
We’d love to hear about innovative technology or approaches you are developing or using in education. Leave your stories in the comments below. Alternately, record a quick free voicemail via speakpipe for inclusion in the next episode. Finally, you can post your thoughts or follow-on links via twitter @podcastedtech @denishurley or via The Edtech Podcast Facebook page.
The Pearson Future Tech for Education Series is produced by The Edtech Podcast and supported by Pearson Education. If you’re interested in the themes that come out of the series, check out more ideas in the “open series” here.