Technology is reshaping the world in multifaceted ways. It has revolutionized the way we communicate, work, and access information. Of course, they also have transformed the Education system too. As of now, human-centric teaching is still relevant but there are also many new technologies in the market that are changing the way we learn.
The use of technology enables learners to accomplish genuine tasks that mirror real-life situations, promoting practical language application. For instance, learners can engage in virtual conversations, access culturally relevant content, or simulate real-world scenarios using language apps or online platforms. This integration of technology aligns with the objective of fostering language proficiency that is not just linguistically accurate but also culturally appropriate.
Numerous AI, VR, AR, and online platforms are utilized for language learning purposes. Among the various online learning platforms available, Google online courses, Duolingo, Babbel and Mondly are some of the prominent providers in this domain. By incorporating technology in this manner, language learners can bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical language use, ultimately enhancing their communicative competence.
Let’s take a brief look at how new technologies are shaping the language-learning process.
How New Technologies Help Language Learners
Modern education has witnessed remarkable technological progress, reshaping the landscape of language learning. New technologies are changing language learning in a number of ways, including
- Accessible and affordable language learning
Online language learning platforms and apps have made it possible for people to learn languages from anywhere in the world, at any time, and for a fraction of the cost of traditional language classes.
- Personalized learning experience
New technologies can be used to create personalized learning plans that are tailored to each student’s individual needs and interests. For example, adaptive learning software can adjust the difficulty of the material and provide targeted feedback based on the student’s performance. Most training institutes often leverage advanced technologies to provide personalised learning experiences to their students. For instance, in a graphic designing course in Qatar, institutes often integrate advanced technologies into the curriculum to enhance the quality of education.
- Interactive and engaging language learning experience
New technologies can be used to create immersive and interactive learning experiences that are more engaging and motivating for students. For example, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) can be used to transport students to different countries and cultures and allow them to practice their language skills in real-world contexts.
- Provides opportunities for collaboration and communication
New technologies can be used to connect students with native speakers and other language learners from all over the world. For example, many of the free English-speaking courses online, leverage digital platforms to facilitate real-time interactions, allowing learners to engage in conversations, receive authentic language exposure, and enhance their language skills. This allows students to practice their language skills in real-world conversations and get feedback from native speakers.
- Authentic learning experiences
New technologies can be used to create learning experiences that are more authentic to how language is used in the real world. For example, students can use social media to connect with native speakers and practice their language skills in real-world conversations. They can also use video streaming platforms to watch movies and TV shows in the target language.
- Makes language learning accessible to people with disabilities
New technologies can be used to make language learning more accessible to people with disabilities. For example, students with hearing impairments can use sign language interpreters on video streaming platforms. Students with visual impairments can use text-to-speech software to listen to text-based learning materials.
Language Learning With New Technologies
Here are some examples of new technologies that are being used for language learning:
- Language Learning Apps
Duolingo and Babbel are two of the most popular language-learning apps available. Both apps use a variety of technologies to help students learn languages. Artificial intelligence AI apps are used to personalize the learning experience for each student. For example, Duolingo uses AI to track the student’s progress and adjust the difficulty of the lessons accordingly. Babbel also uses AI to provide personalized feedback to students on their pronunciation and grammar.
Speech recognition technology is used to allow students to practice their pronunciation. For example, Duolingo has a feature where students can record themselves speaking and get feedback on their pronunciation. Babbel also has a speech recognition feature, as well as a feature that allows students to have conversations with native speakers.
There is an array of AI writing generators and applications that are now accessible, assisting learners in improving their writing skills. These advancements collectively enhance language learning by providing interactive and personalized experiences.
- Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)
VR and AR technologies provide immersive language learning experiences. Learners can practice their language skills in realistic virtual environments, such as virtual language exchanges, cultural simulations, or virtual tours of foreign locations.
VR immerses learners in a simulated environment, replicating real-life scenarios where they can interact with the language they’re studying. Learners can converse with virtual characters, visit virtual foreign locations, and participate in activities as if they were in a native-speaking environment. For example, Mondly VR is leading the charge in the VR space with its foreign-language teaching app, which places people into situations where they’d need to use the language, like a cab ride or checking into a hotel.
AR overlays digital content onto the real world, making it a powerful tool for language learning. Learners can use AR applications on their smartphones or AR glasses to translate signs, labels, or any written text from one language to another in real-time. AR can also provide interactive language exercises, flashcards, and visual aids, making vocabulary acquisition and grammar learning more engaging and effective.
Language learning through podcasts is a popular and effective method that offers a flexible and engaging way to improve language skills.
Podcasts expose learners to native speakers’ natural pace, accents, and intonations. This improves listening comprehension, helping learners get accustomed to how the language is spoken in real-life situations. Listening to podcasts exposes learners to a wide range of vocabulary used in various contexts. Learners can pick up new words, phrases, and expressions and understand their usage in different situations. Learners can improve their own speaking and pronunciation skills by listening to native speakers in podcasts.
Podcasts often touch on cultural topics, traditions, and practices, giving learners insights into the culture associated with the language they’re learning. Understanding culture is crucial for effective communication. The convenience of accessing podcasts anywhere and anytime makes them a great learning tool. Learners can listen to podcasts during commutes, workouts, or downtime, maximizing their language learning opportunities.
Natural Language Processing (NLP) refers to a computer program’s ability to comprehend human language in its spoken or written form. It’s an integral part of artificial intelligence (AI).
NLP has been around for over five decades and finds its origins in linguistics. It has diverse practical applications across multiple domains, including medical research, search engines, and business intelligence.
The essence of NLP is enabling computers to interpret natural language much like humans do. Whether it’s spoken or written, NLP employs AI to receive real-world input, process it, and interpret it in a manner understandable to computers. Just as humans use various senses (e.g., ears to hear, eyes to see), computers have specialized programs to read and microphones to capture audio. In a similar vein, computers have programs to process the gathered data, akin to how a human brain processes sensory input. During the processing stage, the input is eventually transformed into code that the computer can comprehend.
- Online Language Learning Platforms
Online language learning platforms have become popular avenues for acquiring new languages. These platforms provide structured courses covering various language aspects, including reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Learners can access various resources such as interactive exercises, reading materials, and audio recordings.
For instance, learners could opt for the best free online courses available in a different country. This course would lead them from fundamental expressions to intricate sentence formations. This flexibility allows individuals to even get Language Courses in Abu Dhabi from anywhere at their own pace and according to their schedules, making language education more accessible and convenient.
The new technologies have revolutionized the landscape of education including language learning. Online language learning platforms, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and mobile apps offer interactive, personalized, and immersive learning experiences. These new technologies have made the process of language learning more flexible, effective, and enjoyable.
The new technologies have paved an easier path for individuals on their multilingual journey and fostered a more connected and linguistically diverse global community. The future of Education unquestionably lies in continued innovation and integration of cutting-edge technologies, promising a transformative and inclusive learning experience.