Language Teachers Will Never Be Replaced by AI
It is highly doubtful that human beings will ever be replaced by machines when it comes to the teaching of foreign languages. No doubt, computers have made teaching and learning easier but the teacher, the human being, will always serve as the most vital component in the process of learning a foreign language. Surely, teachers should adapt and change the way they teach but they are irreplaceable. Why?
The Linguistic Genius of Babies - The Power of Human Connection
The TED talk ‘The Linguistic Genius of Babies’ gives both language teachers and learners an explanation. The interesting part, starts at around the 7-minute mark of the video. The researchers did a study to investigate the ability of babies in acquiring the sound system of a foreign language before the age of 1. They had found that babies where capable of acquiring any sound system of any language at this age but only under one condition: if they were ‘taught’ by another human being.
When the babies were exposed to the foreign language through TV or audio alone, no learning whatsoever took place. Learning only happened when they were ‘taught’ by a ‘teacher’. Although every research has its limitations, they highlighted an important aspect that is also true for foreign language learning as a child, teenager or adult. The fact that the underlying reason for language learning is of a social nature: the urge to communicate and connect with the people around us. That is why ‘teacher’ refers to anyone with whom a learner forms or establishes a (social) connection or bond.
'New' Approaches to Language Learning
This is the same reason why some ‘new’ approaches to learning a foreign language by people like Matthew Youlden and Benny Lewis, work well (enough) and why both were able to learn the basics of several languages and use them communicatively in a rather short amount of time. However, being proficient in a foreign language is a process that will require time, learners will rarely manage to do this in a matter of months. Usually being competent in a foreign language will require years of practice especially if you can only learn it in a formal environement like a (language) school or university.
Fulfilling and enriching lessons - Yes, please!
Make use of this and find a ‘teacher’ with whom you can connect (and who teaches languages in a more 'natural' way). Together with a great ‘teacher’, learning a new language might become one of the most fulfilling and enriching experiences of your life. Who knows?