Can technology help improve the language learning experience?
With the growth in population, there stands a dichotomy of opportunities; domestic and global for Indians. India is a country of diverse cultures and religions and in order to reach a common ground and be at par with the changing communication channels of the world, language plays an important role in reaching global platforms. The most difficult challenge in language learning is the ability to determine word complexities and process definitions in real time while also maintaining a routine that allows for practice and exposure to ensure advancement and long-term comprehension. Technology can provide the necessary assistance to the language learner and help them participate in the world and represent ideas on a global level by facilitating quick access to a database of words uniform to the entire world. At the same time, through gamification of the learning process, technology incentivises exposure and practice.
The means of knowledge delivery become the driving forces of subjugating the language challenge. According to the Indian demographic profile, more than 33% of the total population in India is of urban inhabitants and growing at the rate of 3.5% every census year. With growing opportunities at the global level and the increasing learning base, young learners want to leave no stone unturned while pursuing their dream careers. Proficiency in a universal language and understanding international culture eradicates language barriers giving way to a conducive career and learning environment.
With a rise in edutech startups due to the ever-increasing reach of mobile and Internet services, remarkable possibilities have risen to the fore. Language learning has become an important element of this trend that has its eventualities in an equal-opportunity-for-all environment in the future. The innovations have led to a new realm of learning capabilities that can be highlighted in children from a very young age. These mediums include interactive learning, learning through games and fun activities and last but not the least, intuitive learning. Technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine and Deep Learning are paving way for major innovations in the field of education and language learning through cognitive thinking and absorption of information.
The various media of language learning could come through linguistic phone applications and websites that focus on delving into the basics of a language. These software applications can be a great learning assignment for kids, right from the age of 3 years, which is considered the best language receptive age according to latest studies. Technology can further expedite the process of learning through value-based and implementation-focused approaches. Additionally, audio-visual content, interactive grammar sessions and bespoke language lessons to suit a child’s personal needs, can contribute immensely towards linguistic education and building a strong foundation.
Moreover, research plays an important role in determining language adaptability through various mediums and hence becomes a crucial aspect of learning. An exponential rise in language learning technologies and startups for young kids also point towards the relevance of introducing these methods at an early age. The behavioural pattern of the app usage provides for a pathway to the learners’ internal learning behaviour and cognizance towards specific activities and problems. This kind of learning is called intuitive or behavioural learning, which is achieved through the countless possibilities made possible with the help of technology.
In order to reach a balanced conclusion in learning languages in today’s world, technology is a profound way of highlighting capabilities for a holistic growth environment among young learners. We are constantly moving towards such an enriching world space with the blend of new age technology and enhanced learning competencies. Therefore, it becomes imperative to not only deliver innovations but also become responsible handlers of technology.
(The author is founder and CEO, Lingokids. The views expressed here are personal)