How Can Technology Help Education?

Introduction What is the best way for a non-native English speaker to learn English? Just studying for grammars and memorizing vocabs never give a tangible experience of a real-world conversation. People are not usually wary of grammatical errors when they speak and there are certain slangs or words they use orally. For me personally, studying English was hideous, stressful and overwhelming: I had to memorize 30-50 words a day and attend these lectures on English grammar. Guess how I felt when I first heard a phrase like “Ain’t nobody got time for that”. I was dumbfounded to see such a weird grammatical structure like that and could not quite perceive what the structure meant. What then would be the alternative? I suggest watching American shows or movies and here is how I think technology could come in to play a part in English education.

Goal & Target Audience My goal is quite simple and the target audience clear: to facilitate the process of learning English for non-native speakers.

Technology Utilized I am not too familiar with technologies but I guess the primary technology involved here is machine learning (and caption generating technology if available).

Implementation The best environment for this project would be a phone or a tablet since this would be like an educational video player app.

The Very First Step Phase

  1. When the user first installs the app, the user verifies personal information like nicknames, ID, password and her first language.
  2. Next, the user can either choose her proficiency in English among beginner, intermediate, expert or take a simple test, result of which would determine her level.
  3. After that, the user gets a walkthrough of the app such as what specific things could be found where and how the interface of the app works.
  4. She gets a few recommendations on videos based on her level.

How the App Works

  1. The user can import videos of her choice from her phone library, iCloud library, Google Drive, etc or pay for them.
  2. She can either choose to get the subtitle file for the video herself or use the caption generating technology like we see on Youtube, if available.
  3. Depending on her level, some words in the subtitle are going to be hidden as the video plays and based on the context of the sentence or situation or simple what she hears from the speaker, the user tries to guess what that hidden word is by either typing or speaking directly to the device.
  4. If the user highlights a word or a phrase in the subtitle, she gets translation for it in her native language or English based on her preference. She can choose to save it in her personal dictionary and/or repeat after it, and the app would tell how accurate her pronunciation is. a. The user can press the screen for 2-3 seconds, the video would be paused and she could highlight a word or a phrase in the subtitle. b. Her personal dictionary would be organized by names of videos she watched (i.e., the vocabs she saved from video A would be inside a folder named A).
  5. After the video ends, she gets to see the statistics about her pronunciation accuracy, saved words, looked-up words, etc. She can also rate how hard it is to follow the video.
  6. The user can look at her progress in her profile and gets recommendations on videos to watch based on what other people of similar level rate on the difficulty of the video(ML?).

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