AI Chatbots Teach English Online

SpeakGlobal's online chatbots look and act like manga-style human characters and are able to hold interactive conversations while teaching English.

(AI Chatbots Teach English Online)

"While many English conversation schools and online schools exist, some simply cannot afford this luxury," the Kobe-based company said. "As well, the actual speaking time in such lessons is limited, to average about 10 minutes per one-hour session. In the case of beginner-level learners, it is considerably less."

The English language is an important part of the school curriculum in Japan and is obligatory for six years in the public school system. But the number of Japanese who say they are actually comfortable conversing in English is very low, due in part to the focus on mastering reading and grammar in school and the lack of opportunities to practice speaking with native-English speakers.

Fans of sf great Isaac Asimov recall the on-screen mechanical teacher from his 1951 short story The Fun They Had:

Margie went into the classroom. It was right next to her bedroom, and the mechanical teacher was on and waiting for her. It was always on at the same time every day except Saturday and Sunday, because her mother said little girls learned better if they learned at regular hours.

The screen was lit up, and it said: "Today's arithmetic lesson is on the addition of proper fractions. Please insert yesterday's homework in the proper slot."

Via The Independent.

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