Artificial Intelligence (AI) sounds like science-fiction. Our familiarity with self-aware machines in film, TV and online has given us a particular perspective on what AI can achieve in the classroom. Here are some areas where improvements in AI technology can be adopted in the virtual classroom sooner than you might think. The technology has yet to reach the level of self-awareness, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t being used in creative and innovative ways all the time. Read on for a few ways that artificial education can be used in your classroom and how it’s becoming the future of education.
Automating Tasks & Saving Teacher’s Time
We know how much work teachers take home with them. Things like grading tests and homework can take up a lot of a teacher’s day, leaving them with less time to focus on lesson planning and engaging their students. With AI, menial tasks like grading can be easily automated.
The technology exists that automates grading for multiple choice and gap-fill tasks. Software that can grade writing and essays is developing fast and improving automatic grading for the better. Freeing-up the work of teachers to be more creative and student-focused by using AI to automate grading is here.
Adapting to Students’ Needs
In language learning it is vital to understand your learner-type. Are your students visual learners? Do they respond more to audio input or are they kinaesthetic in nature?
With AI, it is now easier for teachers to accommodate the individual students’ learning needs. Many learning programs, software, and games exist that are adaptive to different levels and learning styles. AI methodologies like these respond to students’ specific learning needs and puts emphasis on topics that students are struggling with. Artificial education also allows students to work at their own pace, instead of trying to keep up with the classroom.
AI as Tutors
With the help of AI tutors, students can get help essentially 24/7 in subjects like math, writing, and language. AI style tutors haven’t completely wiped out the tutor job field, but advancing technology could soon make that possibility into a reality. AI-run tutors can make it easier for students to access the help they need. Students won’t have to spend time travelling to a tutoring facility and parents won’t have to spend large sums on private tuition.
AI Makes Education Truly Global
Thanks to artificial education, students now have the ability to learn anywhere, anytime. This means that if a student has to miss school for personal or medical reasons, they can easily stay caught up with the school work via artificial education software. Students also have the ability to learn from anywhere in the world, making higher quality education for rural students and those in low economic areas accessible and affordable.
With the help of AI, students can learn more from home and come to the classroom with a set of core competencies that teachers can then build on. Artificial education is levelling the playing field of education for students across the globe and giving those without access to quality education equal opportunities.
The Bottom Line
While artificial intelligence and education may seem like a futuristic invention, it’s present in our lives and education systems today. With the help of artificial education, we can make both students’ and teachers’ lives easier. Artificial education gives every student the opportunity to receive a quality education, takes the load off teachers, and encourages autonomous learning.
What does this actually mean for individuals:
Continuing Professional Development helps individuals to regularly focus on how they can become a more competent and effective professional. Training and learning increase confidence and overall capability, and compliments career aspirations.
CPD enables individuals to adapt positively to changes in work/industry requirements. Planning CPD helps one to be more efficient with time, and recording CPD properly provides evidence of professional development (this can be useful for supervision and appraisals).CPD shows a clear commitment to self-development and professionalism. CPD provides an opportunity for an individual to identify knowledge gaps and to resolve these in a recognisable approach to improvement.
This is why language development is so suited to CPD strategies. The process of developing language skills is implicitly a continuous one and employees should be urged to adopt CPD strategies in their development of a second/third language skill. Tangent Training provides detailed data on measuring language development skills, uptake, usage and their improvement.
Accredited CPD Providers should make available to individuals a Certificate of Attendance to attach to their CPD log as evidence of development once training is complete or the desired standards of learning have been met.
So, it’s important to understand that truly meaningful CPD is a process of planning, recording, evaluating and reflecting on what we’ve learnt and how we can apply our learning to improve our performance.
And to justify the term, CPD needs to be:
So, the challenge is to develop a sound CPD system and build good habits that can support us to develop a really meaningful approach towards our own continuous professional development and ensure that whatever we do really does contribute to our CPD and uses our time to maximum effect, so that our performance just gets better and better.
Just how good are you with English prepositions? Try this quiz and find out!
Hint: A preposition is a word governing, and usually preceding, a noun or pronoun and expressing a relation to another word or element in the clause, as in “the man on the platform,” “she arrived after dinner,” “what did you do it for ?”
Why do so many people fail to reach the final interview stages for cabin crew roles? Well let’s read about your experiences:
She first told me I have a very slim chance of getting through as I my English was not up to the mark. (I am in fact from one of the European countries) as they are more favourable for this job. At first I thought it was not true, and surely some people must get through... but no, only 3 out of 35 made it...
Our first and most important tip: PRACTISE, PRACTISE AND PRACTISE more on your English language proficiency.
You will do a one to one Role play and a group exercise for this interview. If successful with them both then a one to one with the managers. My advice to anyone is look your best but not over the top, walk with grace, do not rehearse your answers, talk to people, maintain eye contact...but above-all, your English speaking, listening and writing skills must be very good.
It does matter how you look, how well you work in a team situation, how well you interact with the managers. But, if your English isn’t good enough, you will be rejected.
Arrived thirty minutes early and all of our documents were checked. Once we had all completed a short form asking about tattoos, and pre booked holidays etc. we were asked in small groups to go and have our height checked and asked to confirm whether we had any tattoos and where they were.
Once everyone had done this we had a short presentation on BA and what a typical roster would look like etc.
After this we were all taken back to the waiting area where we were all called randomly for the group activity or the role play.
I didn’t make it to the group activity stage ☹ They said my spoken English was not good enough.
Think about the time and money these great people invested to get this far in the process only to find their hopes and dreams shattered by a simple failure to communicate effectively in English.
Do something about it now and prepare yourself for Assessment Day. Take Tangent’s English for Cabin Crew lectures or try our Interview Preparation courses and make sure you’re not going home until day 3 – when you know the job is yours!
Take your Free Sample Course today! Click here...
Managing today's busy international airlines...
We had a team of English teachers but the classes were often empty and the costs of the teachers plus employee downtime was very high."
Tangent Training contacted the company and discussed the use of a corporate language strategy. After a few presentations and some live demonstrations, a trial was agreed with 30 cabin crew. They were tested and grouped then given access to the Tangent's virtual classrooms via their tablets and smart phones.
"The trial was very impressive. The cabin crew could go online with their live trainer when they were in hotels on stopovers or turnarounds. They reported that the course was great fun and totally centred around flight attendants' language needs. Not only that, we actually saved money because of the time savings and we didn't need any locally employed teachers."
View our Asynchronous English for Cabin Crew Courses by clicking below:
Contact Us now to discuss your language strategy and improve your company language requirements while improving your ROI.
How good is your grammar? Tangent Training wants to know! And we bet you do too… Take this Fiendishly Difficult Grammar Quiz and find out.
Most of us in the UK and USA just about manage to speak one language reasonably well. So when Kazakhstan's President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, called on his country to be trilingual, it put many of us to shame. One company in Kazakhstan decided to do something about it.
In 2015 KIS/Orion LLP, a wholly owned Kazakh recruitment company, partnered with Tangent Training Co. Ltd. as their online language training providers, to train their nationals, in English. This proved very popular, especially as their staff could connect online to a live trainer from any location via any Internet device. The HR manager stated “This was very successful so we decided to train our expat Managers in Russian and Kazakh as well”.
Ruslan, a senior manager noted, “Our expat managers, who mainly study Russian, are often on the move so we needed them to be connected simultaneously from Russia, Holland, UK and Kazakhstan; this wouldn’t interrupt their schedule but meant they could maintain their training”. Something many executives neglect.
“We also negotiated special prices for all our national contractors working for large Oil & Gas companies here in Kazakhstan to enable them to develop their English capabilities which are so important in an industry that relies on communication skills for safety purposes” noted Ruslan.
Tangent Training was able to provide solutions for multiple language learning while allowing staff to continue their work without attending conventional classes. All languages are also aligned to CEFR international standards using qualified trainers. To find out how Tangent can help you, contact email@example.com.
4 reasons why Synchronous Live Online Training (SOLT™) is the most effective method for learning a new language
It is a skill and is something that you do. Rather like learning a musical instrument – you need to be really bad at it, make errors, and learn techniques for improvement. Eventually it ends up working better for you. All in all the process is messy.
Why do I want to learn a language?
Start by asking yourself this question. Given the steep learning curve that language learning presents, many people burn out while some fail before they’ve even started. Try and prevent this by seeing how the language might plug into your life. This could be obvious – you may be relocating or your partner may speak it. Whatever the reason, seeing how you can make the integration happen goes a long way to mastering the task.
Can I learn online?
Of course. When you’ve worked out why you’re learning the language, do so by building a study plan around what you want the language to do. Structure your studies around your plan – whether that means learning cookery, art history, music, bar-chat or buying meat pies; ensure your study plan fits your needs.
Adopt your tech and cultured lifestyle habits to reinforce your plan. Set your phone to the new language, watch German movies with German subtitles (if it is German you need). Read real articles written for natives and listen to people using it whenever you can.
You may want to use mp3/4 files, YouTube, social media and multimedia packages that provide pronunciation models and realistic situations.
All of these technologies and interactions are effective to a certain point, but none of them have successfully addressed the needs of language learners in a comprehensive manner. Simply interacting with materials online is never enough. It can be a waste of time and money and worst of all, you’ll learn how to use the language badly, storing up and fossilising errors as you go. When it comes to trying out your newly discovered skills, your confidence will be shot and you’ll end up giving up.
So, let me throw you a lifeline here. By all means adopt all the tech and lifestyle modalities that social media and the inter-connected world offers you. Crucially though, incorporate SYNCHRONOUS (real-time) methods to achieve your goals. You have to be able to communicate in real-time, with your trainers, your fellow learners and with your learning resource materials. Which brings me to my 4 reasons why SOLT™ is your quickest passport to second language success.
Reason 1: Live learner-teacher interaction is proven to succeed
Your teacher is an ACTIVE support, not a person on the end of an e-mail or a faceless line of text in a forum or message board. You’ll get overwhelmed with question overload and become frustrated at the time delay for feedback.
The presence of a live teacher (in real-time) will assist you with specific problems and, vitally, facilitate social interaction (I will come back to social interaction time and time again – you’ll see why!). Without this mediation or facilitation you can misconstrue key concepts, which will impact on your satisfaction and confidence. If you were always fearful of making errors at school, then the SOLT™ environment could be the perfect arena for you to mask your embarrassment.
Reason 2: Live learner-learner interaction is critical
You always learn more when you’re with others, don’t you? Collaborative learning (such as SOLT™) increases cognitive learning tasks, completion rates, and acquisition of social skills in language learning. Realistic real-time interactions between learners have the greatest potential to increase individual participation and performance. Such interactions allow for immediate feedback and meaningful measures of progress. (Park and Bonk 2007).
As I said, you need to be bad at it to begin with. Sharing your inadequacies and getting it wrong with others, in the same boat as you, can be an affirming and rewarding experience.
Reason 3: Social Interaction is absolutely vital
A communicative approach to the language learning process has long been established as fundamental to the success of language acquisition, especially among adults. Central to this approach is that language is a tool for social interaction. The sharing of authentic texts and resources provides a basis for live discussion, which focuses not only on the language but also on the language learning process itself. Critically, SOLT™ enables you to plug into the methods and modalities of your peers in real time.
Reason 4: Content doesn’t teach. People do.
Most learning management systems mainly function as platforms where digital materials are stored and where learners are only required to browse and interact with these materials by themselves. The vast majority of these do not support person-to-person interaction and are therefore predominantly asynchronous. What happens when learners are left to themselves and the content?
In short, accessing content alone diminishes cognitive activity in the brain, which is vital to language acquisition.
To conclude: Give yourself a chance in 2017
If your new year’s resolution is to get that second language under your belt and be freely and fluently speaking it sometime in 2018 then, please adopt as many asynchronous strategies as you can that fit with your objectives. Most of all though, have a go at SOLT™ with qualified teachers, in virtual classrooms where a multiple of synchronous tools are available so that you can interact socially with real people in real time. Who knows? You might make some life-long friends too!
Wishing you a happy, prosperous and productive New Year!
CEO, Tangent Training Co. Ltd
Tangent Training incorporates SOLT™ methods in all of its courses and output.
Like what you see? Want to know more about why Tangent Training is leading the field in live online training for business?
Mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Synchronous and Asynchronous Communication: Tools for Collaboration
This paper was authored by Byron Kask (2009) and revised by Sarah Wood (2010), and Brett Williams (2014) and I have taken extracts from it.
In addition, extracts for this article were sourced from here:
Innovate (http://www.innovateonline.info/) as: Wang, Y., and N. Chen. 2007. Online synchronous language learning: SLMS over the internet. Innovate 3 (3). http://www.innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=337
Extracts also taken from http://www.businessinsider.com/why-its-hard-to-learn-new-language-adult-2014-7?IR=T
I recently read an article on the importance of pronunciation in language learning and realised, sadly, that teachers are still talking about it 20 years after I first heard the discussion. The reasons may have changed from learning it to sound British or American to sounding ‘intelligible’ but the reasons are still solid.
Many teachers still fail dismally to incorporate pronunciation into their lessons and most course books are even worse, with token ‘pronunciation spots’. Learners take the time and effort to learn new lexis, meaning, form, use, synonyms etc. but if they can’t say it, all those efforts are wasted. Therefore, pronunciation work should be a critical component of any course, not an add-on after thought.
Some teachers use ‘Speech Shadowing’ to help their students.
Shadowing is a useful tool and will help but one problem I have observed [I always hold practice sessions in classes] is the reason the learner has a problem is either, a) L1 interference [first language] ie the ‘sound’ [phoneme] doesn’t exist and/or, b) the learner can’t hear the sound [error] they make and will still have a problem hearing it, whether it’s modelled by a teacher/video/CD, including their own recording.
Of course, the activity is still helpful but not the most important tool in the box. After 15 years of developing a ‘learner training’ module and integrating it on day 1 of all courses, irrespective of level, I have found learners become much more autonomous, particularly when they are introduced to the aspects of pronunciation – word stress being the most important for global English ‘intelligibility’.
Aspects of pronunciation in learner training also enables everyone to utilise peer and self-correction much more – hence autonomy and a faster learning curve. That said, the power of listening is greatly underestimated and underused.
As Epictetus said, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”
Tangent Training offer short intensive Pronunciation courses – find out more contact them email@example.com.
Noel Chivers is an e-Learning Language Consultant with over 15 years’ experience teaching all over the world.
E-learning? Online learning? M-learning? Unraveling the mysteries of the murky world of learning in cyberspace
I decided to write this blog because of heated exchanges with my learned and respected management team regarding defining our company’s USP (unique Selling Proposition). We struggled to get the USP down in one sentence. Do you write ‘’online training’’, ‘’e-learning’’ or ‘’live training’’ when describing your delivery method? What on earth is the difference between synchronous and asynchronous methods? Do our customers get the message when we say ‘’live’’ trainers?
I found, after trawling through the internet and looking at the websites of 100s of ‘’cyberspace’’ training organisations, that we weren’t in too much of a pickle after all. Everyone seems to have the same problem! So let’s start with the basics.
Historically, synchronous communication was only available either in person with spoken word or within line of sight using signals (smoke, flags, beacons etc.). Today, synchronous communication includes satellite, cell phone, and internet technologies and allows people to work together instantaneously regardless of their location. The key word here is instantaneously, the interaction takes place in ‘real-time’ so to speak. It is also more than one-way and can be between multiples of people at the same time.
From an educational perspective, synchronous learning historically refers to the traditional classroom environment where a teacher communicates directly to a group of students and sets the pace for how and when students learn the curriculum (which continues to characterise most models of learning to this day).
Asynchronous communication first developed when people were able to scratch out small pictographs. This type of communication was refined with the creation of written language. Until recently, communicating across great distances was only possible asynchronously, as messages were written and then carried to their recipients. Response time for this communication was dependent on the distance that needed to be travelled and the conditions faced by the couriers. Furthermore, the messages could be easily lost or intercepted. The creation of modern postal systems greatly improved the reliability of asynchronous communication. The internet, and new developments in storage media, remote access, and cloud technology, has revolutionised asynchronous communication. Groups of people are now able to utilize asynchronous communication to work collaboratively on projects with no time or place barriers.
Asynchronous learning emerged out of a perceived need by institutions to deliver curriculums to students who were unable to attend classes in a traditional physical setting due to distance or other factors. These correspondence and distance courses, which were delivered by mail, allowed students to complete readings and assignments in their own time and regardless of the teacher’s schedule and availability. While these types of courses allowed increased student flexibility, interaction with the instructor was limited and collaboration with other students characteristically non-existent. (Pullen & Snow, 2007).
Synchronous Communication Tools
The most basic synchronous tools these days are instant messages and chat-boxes. Online training organisations like Tangent Training have vastly augmented this process to include real-time live video, audio, and interactive whiteboards enabling written communication too. With real-life live trainers, visible online, communication takes place instantaneously directly with participants. Developments in open-source real-time chat technologies such as WebRTC have eliminated echo, voice-lag, voice-dropping and ‘satellite delay’. (Click here to read more about WebRTC Technology)
Only synchronous communication tools deliver real-time advantages such as:
If your organisation opts for an asynchronous approach, you’re likely to be at a significant disadvantage. Monitoring engagement can be difficult; measuring performance is like eating peas with a fork and you might be throwing significant budget down the toilet. If you want your staff to learn a new language, for example, we don’t recommend this! Some other disadvantages are:
Don’t just take my word for it! Here are some comments from scholars: Anderson (2004) argues that developing student-student interactions is critical to e-learning. Kirby & Boak (as cited in Anderson, 2004) note that collaborative learning increases cognitive learning tasks, completion rates, and acquisition of social skills in e-learning. Unlike the interactions between students and content and students and teacher, student-student interactions provide a more realistic opportunity for synchronous communication. Park and Bonk (2007) comment that, “synchronous communication has a great potential to increase individual participation and performance” (2007, p.245). Synchronous communication allows for immediate feedback and meaningful interactions (Park & Bonk). Exploring this further, a study involving preserve teachers by Levin et al. (2006) suggested that synchronous online communication was more effective in fostering critical reflection compared to similar asynchronous online activities. Reasons for this include:
My message to L&D managers and Training bosses:
Use synchronous methodologies for language training. Opt for either a broadcast method (many employees in one place viewing a live trainer via giant screen) or a delivery method to employee’s personal devices. Don’t expect to get results fast by over-loading learners with material and crossing your fingers!
Best wishes for Christmas and the New year!
CEO, Tangent Training Co. Ltd
Like what you see? Want to know more about why Tangent Training is leading the field in live online training for business? Mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Synchronous and Asynchronous Communication: Tools for Collaboration
This paper was authored by Byron Kask (2009) and revised by Sarah Wood (2010), and Brett Williams (2014) and I have taken extracts from it.
The E-Learning Guild www.elearningguild.com (Tangent Training are proud to be a member).
“At Tangent Training, we provide LIVE online classes and e-Learning resources delivered anytime, anywhere and on any device using customised materials to meet the specific training needs of our clients.” About Us