历时三天的GET教育大会今天闭幕，戴耐德亚太区总裁Ciaran Lally先生在上午的AI专场活动中正式宣布，在中国发布全球首个承诺效果的一站式在线英语解决方案 — neo Professional。该产品首次将AI驱动的自主练习课件与在线面授1对1无缝衔接，包含AI驱动的neo Study App，同时搭配1对1全球在线面授课平台neo Live，开创AI教练+真人教练的个性化英语学习新模式，承诺按照规划的路径和方式学习，学生可在5-7个月内提升一个欧标（CEFR）级别。
与此同时，爱尔兰前总理布莱恩·考恩 (Brian Cowen）先生和前议员弗兰克·弗伊（Frank Fahey）先生，也来为戴耐德的新品发布助阵。两位都常年与中国企业合作，深知掌握英语在商贸往来与日常沟通中的重要性。在前一天戴耐德北京办公室举办的沟通会中，两位就表示，掌握实用的技能十分有助于大家在各种经济形势下，稳定前行。他们非常希望 neo Professional 这种高效实用的英语解决方案可以惠及更多中国企业。
左三：爱尔兰前总理布莱恩·考恩 (Brian Cowen）先生
It’s very nice to be here today and to have an opportunity to speak about the future of English language learning in China and across the world.
I have had the pleasure to meet many of you over these recent years but for those who don’t know me, my name is Ciaran Lally. I am the manager of DynEd’s business in the Asia Pacific region and I am based here in Beijing.
Over 30 years ago, DynEd was created to try to solve the problem of a lack of fluency in English, particularly in Asia. Over the following decades, DynEd went on to develop the world’s most sophisticated adaptive content engine and became the world’s most awarded English courseware.
Our company has trained many tens of millions of students in English across 75 countries and ranging in age from 3 years old to over 70 years old.
We have worked with Ministries of Education in Public schools across all grades all over the world, including here in China. We have worked with top tier Universities including UIBE and Guanghua School on Management here in Beijing for over 15 years, Private and International schools and colleges all over the world, we have trained pilots for most of Asia’s airlines and we have worked with many if not most of Fortune 500 companies over the years.
I would like to talk to you today about a number of things. Firstly, I would like to talk about the current status of the industry and where we see it headed in China. I would also like to discuss AI, you know, that thing that everyone is taking about but very few are doing well. What can AI help us achieve and what are its shortcomings. Lastly, I would like to introduce you to neo, our next generation AI powered product, which we believe has the potential to be truly trans formative in the months and years to come.
So, before we can talk about AI we need to talk about data.
Since our inception, and throughout that entire time we have collected every interaction that every student has ever had, literally many billions of data points. This has created an immensely powerful body of data.
You may ask, Why is this data so important? To understand the answer to that we need to look into what learning a language entails.
Simply put, learning any language, English included, is a skill. Just like learning to drive a car, play tennis or play the piano. We learn through practice. Not just any practice but by frequent practice at the right level of difficulty at the right time. That’s why we don’t develop a skill by reading a book about it, we develop by finding a coach who helps us practice in an individualized way. If the practice is too easy we don’t make progress and if it is too difficult we will get frustrated and quit.
When we practice with our coach frequently at the right level of difficulty we make progress step by step towards our goal – we build our muscle memory, our long-term memory. That’s what fluency is.
Lots of Individualized and frequent speaking practice = speaking fluency develops
Little individualized speaking practice = little development in speaking fluency
Over these past decades DynEd has used its ocean of data to measure the impact of each one of these billions of interactions on student’s fluency and mastery of the language. We always look not just at what each student does, but the impact of what they do on their level of fluency.
We individualize content by using student data in real time to power a truly adaptive content engine where the complexity of the language patterns change, in real time, to match individual student ability, constantly challenging the student, pushing them to improve.
We use mastery tests every step of the way, to ensure that students can prove mastery of the language before moving forward. We use these results to develop a language framework and sequence that we have spent a lot of time optimizing.
Data has always been at the core of what we do and always will be…..it is also at the core of AI.
The limitations of traditional learning are well known, and I won’t dive in too deeply here. Static content, an impersonal learning experience, limited speaking practice, a focus on memorization and grammar and overworked stressed out teachers tasked with teaching the skill of communication to many students simultaneously. It is deeply ineffective.
DynEd has always had a vision to address that….to enable a world where fluency in English is available to everyone. No other language, no other products. Just real-world fluency in English.
Over the past 30 years, and especially in these recent years, much has changed, particularly in China. The world has gone 4IR, anytime anywhere, big data, AI. Today, there are literally thousands of apps for learning English, countless business models, countless approaches to learning English, endless videos, textbooks, ads, podcasts, blogs. Endless experts, endless advice, endless features, endless methods. But one thing has not changed……..
…. Many, if not most, students and workers still cannot communicate confidently in English!! and all too often, cannot communicate at all, even at the most basic level. How can that be? Surely that is impossible? After all this time, all this money, all this effort.
For a moment, please consider the apps and products in the market place today and be really honest with yourself….
How many apps truly have personalized adaptive content in real time as opposed to static content? Almost none.
How many matches the complexity of language to the individual student’s ability in real time to challenge the brain to learn? Very few.
How many engage the student in continual speaking practice at the right level of complexity with speech recognition tools to help build their automaticity and pronunciation? Not many.
How many focus on the natural way to learn a language rather than endless boring grammar lessons and endless memorization? Not many.
How many provide the teacher with useful, real time data that focus on study quality, mastery and skill building, and proficiency rather than activity and small data like how many minutes or units have been completed? Again, not too many.
If I read a mathematics textbook cover to cover in a weekend does that mean I understand it? No. We should be focusing on fluency and skill building not completion and activity.
How many of these systems and apps measure their results against real, international standards with total transparency and proof? Very few.
So really, as an industry, we should acknowledge that we still have a long way to travel.
What if, we could develop a product that addressed all of these shortcomings in a completely transparent way, was extremely easy to use, and what if we could develop AI so powerful that the learning outcome, the result, would be completely proven and transparent and even Guaranteed for every student? Yes, I said Guaranteed. Not indicated, or hoped for or prayed for, but Guaranteed.
Well, that was the challenge that we set ourselves a number of years ago. We had the data, we have the expertise and we have the technology, but the challenge was to build a product that developed our AI to the point where we could actually Guarantee the learning outcome. Guaranteed Fluency. This product is called neo Professional, and we are launching it in China this week at GET.
We believe neo Professional is the only language product in the world today that offers a fully transparent Guarantee of English proficiency in the shortest possible time for every student. I will explain more a little later.
We took our data, our language framework, adaptive content engine and skills-based approach to learning as the starting point.
We then took this data and used it to develop a gamification-style points system that would inspire and train and correct student behavior. Behavior that keeps students studying in the most efficient way. Points are not just about rewards and status, they should be used to allow the educator to train the student’s study behaviors to improve learning efficiency.
We knew we could then simplify the learning process to just one instruction: “collect points”.
Next, we knew we needed to make the interface really simple. Not overly complicated or distracting. Instead, a simple and uncluttered interface designed to create and hold the focus required for skill building. This is not entertainment, this skill building, it is the equivalent of a driving lesson, a piano lesson. Total focus is required and any distractions that get in the way of skill building study will hurt progress. So, a simple interface designed to increase and maintain focus.
We understand that many students today prefer a highly interactive, visual, entertaining interface but let me say it again…..building the skill of fluency requires an interface that demands total focus without distraction. Neo gives students what they need not what they think they want.
We also knew we didn’t want to give the student endless and complicated feedback – if we know what the student should be doing then surely the AI should be intelligent enough to take automatic corrective action, in real time, Right? Well, that’s what neo does.
We knew that nobody would want to speak to their phone in isolation for 2 to 5 years to learn English. I mean, would you want to do that? Learning English needs to be a rewarding and ultimately a communicative and human experience. A student needs to experience the joy of learning and speaking so that they want to continue.
DynEd believes that real teachers and coaches, online and offline, are essential to long term skill building and fluency. Teachers will motivate the student to continue, after all, skill building is hard, they will help the student to personalize the language and they will help the student to expand their vocabulary. Most of all, they will help the students to feel pride and joy in speaking English.
Allow me to use a quick analogy. I am sure some of have played golf. Every golfer knows that if you want to play well then you need to practice building the right muscle memory and ingraining the basic skills into your body and mind. Sessions down at the driving range hitting hundreds of balls multiple times a week are necessary to achieve this. Maybe it’s not particularly enjoyable at the time but you realize it is necessary if you want to play to high level. I don’t think there is a golfer alive that would disagree with that. However, the joy of the game comes alive when you play a game for real. When you hit a good shot and you see the benefits of all your hard work and practice. It gives you the feeling of pride and joy to see your progress. It makes you want to go back and practice harder. You feel energized to see the results of your hard work. The same can be said for any sport or any skill.
Building fluency in English is also a skill, the same principles apply.
Mobile AI courseware gives you the individualized frequent practice you need but it’s not enough.
Your real teacher or online coach will allow you to use your language and communicate for real, talking about yourself, with real people. They will empathize with you, they will encourage you, they will connect with you, energize you. They will help the language come alive you for. It is for these reasons DynEd believes that AI teachers should not and will not replace real teachers and real-world interaction if long term progress and fluency is the goal.
We knew real coaches needed to be a part of a platform for every student and that without they the chances are that the student would fail to achieve their goals.
Above all else, we knew we needed to offer total transparency at every step of the journey from our initial promise and the initial placement or assessment test to every study session that would be undertaken. Every minute tracked, every interaction made clear, every step towards the goal communicated. We felt that this is how learning and skill building should be and we know that every student will come to expect it.
To put it simply, we feel that uncertainty and confusion is bad. That total clarity, transparency and a results focus are the future, and we know that neo needs to embody that.
We believe neo is the most effective AI powered English learning app in the market. Neo is a serious English learning app for serious learners.
Neo is a language learning system, a native mobile app, that combines AI powered courseware study with real online coaching. Integrating online coaches, native and non-native from all over the world. Students can choose any coach and keep or change coaches as often they want.
When studying neo, because of the AI and adaptive content, most skill building happens during courseware practice not in the coaching sessions. The coaching sessions are used to motivate and encourage and help the student to feel good about their language which they have already mastered through the app.
We believe it is the most efficient English learning product in the world and the best part is that these results are proven, time tested, completely transparent, and yes…. even Guaranteed and Certified to International proficiency standards.
Pretty cool, right? An English product finally in China that actually Guarantees the learning outcome benchmarked to International standards.
So, in closing, at some point, the promise of technology, and more specifically, AI, needs to live up to its promise. We can’t keep talking about progress while delivering questionable value in terms of proven results.
We can’t keep designing models to attract millions of students and then allow most of them to fail. How can any of us say that we have achieved our goals if many of our students feel confused or frustrated?
So, let’s try to remove the uncertainty and confusion rather than profit from it. Let’s focus on building AI products that deliver REAL, proven results.
Let’s fight for a focus on results not features. Let’s fight for transparency.
If you would like to learn more about DynEd or neo professional and potentially become our partner, then please come and say hello. We have a stand here this week and would love to talk with you. It is a really interesting time to be a part of this industry, we have a long road ahead and this week we are taking a big step forward towards achieving our vision.
Thanks a lot for your attention, I really appreciate it, thank you very much.谢谢你们的关注，我很感激，非常感谢！