Want to see the world? Talk first!

By Zhang Xingjian | | Updated: 2017-11-16 10:10

Want to see the world? Talk first!

51Talk signs an agreement with Teacher Created Materials publishing house to introduce English reading materials for Chinese people. [Photo provided to]

Technology key to future online education growth

In the era of Internet Plus, a majority of industries will undergo earthshaking changes. Some will boom while others will flop. The online education industry, however, is expected to enjoy a bright future.

"If I said the following words 10 years ago, many people would think I was crazy. But the truth is that online education is growing to be the mainstream of English study in China," Huang told China Daily Website.

"The wide application of technologies, including cloud computing, artificial intelligence and big data, has already shaken the traditional lifestyle of human beings," Huang said. "With those state-of-the-art technologies as the strong backbone, online education platforms can be accessible to more groups of people and cover more regions in China, especially the third- and fourth-tier cities."

"For instance, with the help of artificial intelligence, we can do matching tests between teachers and students. Students can choose the teachers they like and the teacher can teach students in accordance to their aptitude."

Meanwhile, 51Talk set up a big data department last year to gather information from more than 20,000 hourlong online courses taught in one day. And analysts use the data to collect user feedback and observe class interaction to ensure teaching performance.

"In the coming years, more qualified resources will be shared among people instead of being the privilege of elites. Also, the gap between cities will narrow as people from remote areas can learn standard-level English courses as well," Huang added.

On Sept 8 the enterprise, in cooperation with the China Children and Teenagers' Fund, put the "New Window Plan" into action.

According to Huang, the plan is mainly targeted at groups such as left-behind children, rural migrant workers' children and children from poor families.

"The original intention of establishing 51Talk was to help more people overcome the difficulty of speaking English. After all, spoken language is like a window into one's life and it helps people get better insight into the colorful world."


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