Beyond Duolingo: Exploring Cutting-Edge AI Tools for Language Education
Even though the tools could be incredibly adaptive in the technology, teachers still need to understand how they work and how they could use such tools to benefit the classroom.
Learning a new language can be challenging, but with cutting-edge technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), it has become more accessible and exciting. AI has recently become a trend in language education and has the potential to revolutionize the way we learn languages.
This article explores the challenges of learning a new language and the solutions provided by AI, including Duolingo, Praktika.ai, and Class Point AI. We also share successful stories of using AI in education and discuss the limitations and future of AI in language learning. We hope this article will encourage you to explore the exciting possibilities of AI in language education!
Challenges and Solutions in Learning a New Language with Artificial Intelligence
When learning a new language, people often face several challenges. The most common examples include fear of speaking, getting intimidated at the pre-intermediate level, lack of time, and the inner voice. Most teachers are aware of these challenges and address them in various ways. They often help students overcome the fear of speaking by explaining their mistakes as a natural flow of the learning process and encourage students to excel, noted Spence.
Another solution to these challenges is using cutting-edge technology such as artificial intelligence. McKinsey highlighted that AI-powered language translators and assistants, including Apple’s AAPL 0.00%↑ Siri and Amazon’s AMZN 0.00%↑ Alexa, are already being used by some people as a way to learn a new language. On top of that, BBC reported that many people have discovered the benefits of AI-based chat for language learning. A vivid example is “a Costa Rican who works in the construction industry found that his AI-powered keyboard has been useful in polishing up his technical vocabulary in English.” Another remarkable instance of using AI comes from South Africa: “A South African café owner improves his Spanish grammar with the aid of AI by using ChatGPT to quickly generate and adapt study aids like charts of verb tenses.” The list of examples can go on forever.
However, it is essential to note that AI is still new to society and faces some technical limitations. There is a need for massive training data and difficulties in generalizing across use cases, concluded the McKinsey study on AI, automation, and the future of work. Nevertheless, researchers are working hard on addressing the issues, and AI will likely play an integral role in language learning in the coming years.
As concluded by BBC, numerous apps have now drawn on open-source code to customize AI for language learners. So, what are the most forward-thinking tools teachers can use for teaching languages?
AI Tools Revolutionizing Language Learning: Duolingo, Praktika.ai, and Class Point AI
Duolingo DUOL 0.00%↑ is a well-known language learning app, thanks to its viral social media posts and widespread popularity. It was one of the first platforms to adopt AI technology, even before it was popular worldwide.
Duolingo can be used for free, but a premium subscription option ($83.99 per year) allows users to learn and review their mistakes without limits. Duolingo also offers a free platform for teachers called Duolingo for Schools, which allows teachers to create classrooms and assignments and track students' progress. Duolingo's content follows ACTFL and CEFR learning standards and meets educational needs. Using AI and language science, lessons are designed to adapt to the right level at the right pace for each student. Finally, Duolingo's AI tools help content developers work faster and with fewer mistakes.
Duolingo has received a lot of positive feedback for its platform. For example, PCMag gave the app a 5.0 rating, calling it "the best free app for learning a new language or sharpening your skills." Linguatics rated the app as the "best free language-learning app you can find, considering what it offers."
Praktika.ai is another AI-powered app designed to help users learn languages, specifically English, through conversations with AI avatars. The chatbot uses vast text data to predict words or phrases in context and can even mimic natural human language for various language-related tasks. This app offers a fun and interactive way to learn a language, allowing users to build speaking confidence in an immersive playground environment.
Praktika offers real-time and after-session feedback, over 1,000 lessons, various characters to practice any topic, and over 10,000 minutes of unlimited practice. The app is free to download and use but offers in-app purchases for additional features and content.
Class Point AI is a lifesaver for teachers, using AI technology to generate quiz questions from PowerPoint slides. It transforms PowerPoint presentations into interactive learning experiences, allowing teachers to engage participants with thought-provoking questions in seconds. The platform is powered by OpenAI, allowing the intelligence algorithms to do their job while you are busy with other activities on your plate.
The pricing model includes a Basic Plan (free version with five questions per PowerPoint, three draggable objects, three saved classes, and access to 5 question types) and a Pro Plan ($8/month with 500 AI quiz credits per month, unlimited questions for PowerPoint, draggable objects, saved classes, and access to all types of the questions).
Undoubtedly, Duolingo, Praktika.ai, and Class Point AI are just a few examples of how AI is revolutionizing the approach to education and learning languages. Read more about AI learning tools in this informative article.
Case Studies of successful stories of using AI in education
There are many stories of teachers and students using AI to enhance learning and teaching foreign languages. A vivid example can be a Stanford researcher who developed an AI program that helps students when they get stuck in self-paced digital learning. In the research and development phase, the program was trained by analyzing performance data from 1,170 Ugandian schools where children had to use tablets to learn English with the help of video and mini-games. In four of the six cases, the model and the human expert came up with the same recommendations. The study concludes that AI can be used to identify student problems and make it easier for a limited number of human teachers to help a large number of students.
Another remarkable instance of using AI in education comes from the Georgia Institute of Technology. There, an AI-powered chatbot named Jill Watson, developed by IBM’s ($IBM) Watson, was employed as a teaching assistant for a course with 300 students. With a 97% accuracy rate, Jill Watson could respond to around 10,000 student inquiries each semester with remarkable human-like efficiency.
Limitations and the Future of AI in Language Learning
There are several limitations of AI in language learning that teachers need to consider. One primary concern is the lack of information and teacher preparation for using AI learning tools, as highlighted in a study published on arxiv.org. Even though the tools could be incredibly adaptive in the technology, teachers still need to understand how they work and how they could use such tools to benefit the classroom.
Another limitation is that AI-based language tools are currently only available in some languages, such as commonly spoken languages like English and Spanish. However, researchers at MIT are addressing this issue by developing a technique called PARP that reduces the computational complexity of advanced machine learning so it can be applied to perform automated speech recognition for rare or uncommon languages, as reported by MIT News.
Despite the promising overview of identifying errors and providing feedback, language tools powered by AI are imperfect. They still make mistakes and might even invent words or phrases that do not exist in the language, as highlighted by the BBC.
However, the limitations of AI language models are not restricting them from being promising and rapidly evolving. The future of AI language tools is bright, and we can expect several trends soon, including AI Translators and Advancements, Integration with Established language Apps, AI Chatbots for Language Learning, and Generative AI for language learning, as reported by Forbes.
AI is an exciting and rapidly evolving field with great potential to enhance language learning. Despite some limitations, such as the lack of information and teacher preparation for using AI learning tools, researchers are already working on addressing these issues. As AI language models continue to evolve and improve, we can expect them to play an increasingly important role in language education in the future.
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