Language Learning As the Test-Bunny for Educational Future Tech — The EdTech

This podcast was originally published on The EdTech Podcast.

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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?

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