“Hey, Alexa. What is VUI?”
The concept of a voice user interface isn’t new. Phone operators have been infuriating their customers with it for decades already. But, with the advent of smart virtual assistants, powered by artificial intelligence, VUI is fast becoming the next big tech disruption. The prediction that 50% of all internet searches will be voice searches by 2020, is just one indication of its potential impact.
We introduced the concept of Learner Experience Design (LXD) within ELT back in 2016. Since then, we’ve continued to develop it, and it now forms the bedrock of most of the work we do with our clients in the design and development of learning products. At our recent InnovateEdTech conference in London, we took the opportunity to ask some of the delegates and speakers what Learner Experience Design means to them. Here, we share some of their fascinating responses – both from within ELT and beyond.
The potential impact of AI on English language teaching and learning has been the topic of hot debate for some time, with computational linguists and language teaching professionals clashing over the benefits and drawbacks of integrating the technology into a language learning environment. The latest research coming out of the Artificial Intelligence department of the … Read more
ELTjam sat down for a chat with Dr. Claire Dembry, Principal Research Manager in ELT at Cambridge University Press, to talk about how the wide-ranging research she was engaging in was impacting the conversations that were taking place around CUP’s products … especially when it comes to learners actually speaking …
All things considered, it seems there is still some way to go before ELT course materials – and the teachers that use them – are able to address pronunciation in class appropriately and effectively.
Laura Patsko is a language consultant specialising in the practical applications of linguistic research. In this post, Laura addresses how pronunciation is currently being addressed by ELT publishers and content creators, and what could be done to better support English learners.
Towards the end of 2016, Cambridge English Language Assessment held the ‘Access to English for Refugees and Asylum Seekers’ conference with Techfugees – a social enterprise mobilising the international tech community to respond to the refugee crisis. We spoke to Anna Lloyd, Head of Education Technology at Cambridge English Language Assessment and member of the Techfugees Cambridge chapter, about how the partnership came about and what solutions have come out if it so far …
It’s pretty widely accepted that the concept of learning styles is unsubstantiated. There is a distinct lack of evidence to suggest that catering specifically for audio-linguistic learners, or kinaesthetic learners, or whatever the others are, has any actual benefit. As far as cold hard evidence goes, it just doesn’t stack up, which is a worry to the small nation of educational consultants and publishing companies that have forged a lucrative career advocating learning-style oriented teaching strategies.
All’s not lost, however, as a brand spanking new set of learning styles has been identified by educational researchers at the London Institute of Education Studies, and there is more than enough debate surrounding them to power the next decade of educational keynote speeches.
We spoke to Nick Saville, Director of Research and Thought Leadership at Cambridge English Language Assessment, about the current state of language learning and assessment and what he thinks the future might hold. Nick discusses the shortcomings of the language classroom, and why we might be moving towards the end of the exam as we know it.
The capability of bots to perform tasks that were previously the sole domain of human intelligence seems to be growing rapidly – tasks that involve communication, reasoning and analysis. A lot of the noise about bots is just hype and their value is still unproven but, despite that, is there a role for them in ELT? And does that extend beyond their use as a tool to support language learning?
We’ve always believed that a digital product is never finished – it should always be evolving and improving in response to user needs and changing technology. But a project we’re currently working on in Brazil has challenged that assumption, and taught us valuable lessons about how working within strict limitations can improve everything you do.
For the past three years or so, ELTjam has been working with CollegePre, a Beijing-based EdTech company whose digital content delivery platform is the muscle behind Cambridge ClassServer – a classroom technology solution developed with Cambridge English Language Assessment and Cambridge University Press. We managed to get some time with founder and CEO, Walter Wang, to get his unique perspective on EdTech in China.