Google is focusing at Duolingo with new English tutoring tool

Google is making a significant move in the language learning space with a new feature in Google Search that aims to enhance users’ English speaking skills. Initially, this feature is rolling out to Android users in Argentina, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and Venezuela, with plans to expand to more countries and languages in the future. This new tool offers interactive speaking practice and personalized feedback for learners translating to or from English, making it a valuable addition to Google’s language learning resources.

The personalized nature of this feature is a standout aspect. Google’s approach includes providing semantic feedback to assess the relevance and comprehensibility of a learner’s response to a given question. Additionally, it identifies areas where grammar improvements can be made and offers example answers at different language complexity levels. During practice sessions, users can also access contextual translations for any words they don’t understand, creating a holistic learning experience.

Image Credit: Google

To develop this feature, Google invested heavily in AI and machine learning. The Google Translate team created the Deep Aligner model for suggesting translations, and other research groups adapted grammar correction models for speech transcriptions, especially for users with accented speech. Google Research teams designed models for semantic feedback and sentence complexity estimation. To ensure a well-rounded language learning experience, Google collaborated with linguists, teachers, and ESL/EFL pedagogical experts, who contributed a mix of human-expert content, AI-assisted content, and in-house human-reviewed material.

While Google’s precise intentions with this feature remain unclear, it has the potential to boost user engagement. Although the blog post doesn’t explicitly indicate that Google is targeting established language learning apps like Duolingo, it is an intriguing move in a field with substantial profit potential. Google has previously ventured into language learning and education tools, and the success and direction of these efforts may depend on user adoption and popularity.

You can also check out the blog from Google here.





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