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ELSA Selected As The Exclusive English Language Partner For AI-driven Education Software ‘Qubena’ In Japan

ELSA selected as the exclusive English language partner for AI-driven education software ‘Qubena’ in Japan

Around 17% of the world’s population speaks English – that’s more than 1.35 billion people. Being proficient in English can help someone find a job, start a business, and develop both professionally and personally, which is why more people continuously want to learn the language.

In Japan, English learning is a top priority in schools. The government has introduced a number of edtech initiatives and programs to empower students on their English journey. These include the GIGA program, which integrates tech devices in classrooms, and the widespread use of digital textbooks and platforms.

Recently, ELSA partnered with e-portal COMPASS to enhance the English learning experience for students in Japan even more. Here’s how:

AI-centric models for adaptive content

In 2022, Japan ranked 80th in a survey of English proficiency in 112 non-English-speaking countries and regions. To increase Japan’s position and support Japanese students’ English progression, COMPASS signed an exclusive partnership deal to use ELSA’s speech recognition technology in its software.

COMPASS is an e-portal with AI-driven software called “Qubena.” This software works as a program that asks students questions about different subjects according to their abilities. It then generates content that addresses the areas they most need to improve. Qubena is already used by more than one million people across 170 local governments, including 2,300 primary and high school students.

The adaptive learning model of Qubena is a natural fit for ELSA – which is also driven by AI and provides tailored feedback for students learning English. In fact, ELSA’s AI is trained on large datasets that combine a variety of speaking styles and accents, meaning that the tool can detect common errors from non-native English speakers.

With sophisticated technology and the desire to make learning personalized and interactive, COMPASS and ELSA’s partnership can have a big impact on Japan’s English proficiency. 

High-quality, individually-optimized education 

Japan’s education system has gradually placed greater emphasis on listening and speaking in English learning. Studies even show that listening makes up roughly 45% of the time people spend communicating, followed by 30% speaking.

The difficulty, though, is that to focus on listening and speaking, teachers have to have a high level of English themselves. It can also be challenging for teachers to deliver individual feedback to large classes.

By integrating ELSA’s speech recognition technology into Qubena, students can upload recordings of them speaking in English, and immediately receive detailed notes about their fluency, grammar, intonation, vocabulary, and pronunciation. Students therefore don’t have to wait for teachers to manually review their work.

Together with COMPASS, ELSA’s AI will fuel better English adoption in Japan, through customized questions, instructions, and feedback. As well as getting feedback around their English, ELSA’s unique technology updates and adds to the built-in questions in Qubena. Students are asked questions that are most appropriate for their English level and learning style – helping them move forward at the right pace and in the right way.

Seventy million people in 100 countries use ELSA to acquire new language skills. When incorporated in schools, 90% of students said they felt more confident speaking English after practicing with ELSA. It’s no surprise then, that COMPASS also plans to use ELSA’s speech recognition technology API to provide other learning services throughout Japan. The result? High-quality, individually-optimized English pathways for all students.

Edtech shapes effective English learning, at scale

Studies reveal that technology has a significant influence on language acquisition. It can expand knowledge, self-assessment, and dynamic mindsets in students. Japan has been quick to incorporate this information into its education. Predictions state that the edtech market there will grow ¥362.5 billion ($2.7 billion USD) by 2027. With partnerships like that of COMPASS and ELSA, edtech can positively shape individual learning and develop the education system as a whole in the country.

The CEO of COMPASS, Masamoto Ogawa, notes that ELSA strengthens the technology of Qubena, which is then passed on to students and strengthens the collective English proficiency in Japan. One of the core benefits of edtech is that it can deliver effective education, at scale.

Both edtech providers are well established in the edtech field. COMPASS was selected for the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s “Future Classroom” demonstration for three years in a row from 2018 to 2020. The e-portal was also awarded the “Japan e-learning Grand Prize Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award” and the “Good Design Award.” 

Meanwhile, ELSA has received funding from Stanford University and Google’s AI investment department. The app has also been named one of the “Top 100 Artificial Intelligence Startups Changing the World” by CBInsights.

ELSA’s partnership with COMPASS is just the first step in a bigger journey toward supporting students and educational institutions with their English goals. By leveraging the tech and expertise of ELSA, fellow edtech players can bring revolutionary English learning to more people’s fingertips.

For more information, see the original press release (in Japanese): 

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