Voice Interface for Language Learning

Cover Image for Voice Interface for Language Learning

From one day to the next, the globe was obliged to digitize schooling due of the corona epidemic. There is a good chance that cause of the pandemic, the way we learn and teach in the future will be profoundly altered. Our project aims to think about the future and build a picture of how future learning and teaching will look, with an emphasis on the acquisition of foreign languages.

The goal of our voice-user interface Ovi, designed for students in 5th grade and higher, is to integrate new technologies more solidly into the learning and teaching process. We created a proposal for a voice-user interface that is powered by the most recent AI technology, GPT-3.

"In the context of the COVID-19 crisis interest in mobile learning technologies has grown exponentially."

UNESCO - International Commission on the Futures of Education

Our digital learning assitant Ovi supports students in learning foreign languages. Ovi does not replace the teacher, it merely serves as a useful, additional teaching tool. Apart from free conversation, Ovi also supports the active use of the specific foreign language by playful approaches such as the vocabulary duel or the interactive audio play.

In order to identify the students' weaknesses and strengths, Ovi collects data from these interactions and generates data visualizations that can be viewed by both teachers and students. Thus, teachers are able to give enhanced and individualized feedback and tailor further teaching to the students' needs. Likewise, students benefit from the visualization of their performance as it promotes independent learning.

„We talk about language learning but actually do it too little“

Vera F. Birkenbihl

Design process

Our process was highly influenced by the corona pandemic: From the idea to the method of working. The whole design process was executed remotely. Therefore, we were using tools like Miro, Zoom, Figma, Cinema4D and After Effects. Due to the (corona) lockdown in our region, user testing was impossible. However, we look forward to realizing it in the future.

Design principles

  • Three "F" for gamification
    Friends, Feedback, Fun. Competitive elements benefit the students' ambition. Given feedback, students learn to assess their learning behaviour.

  • Making mistakes is okay
    Especially at the beginning of using Ovi, there is no direct feedback on mistakes. The learning assistant simply repeats the mistake, though expressing it correctly (mothering method). This keeps students motivated.

  • Avoiding fear
    Students should not be afraid of humiliating themselves because of mistakes.

  • Educational equity
    Everyone is provided with the technical equipment. By deliberately excluding supplementary technologies such as smartphones, educational equity and social permeability are ensured.

  • Independent learning
    Students can view their learning progress in skill trees. Thus, they can assess themselves in a better way.

  • Relieve and strengthen teachers
    Teachers receive updates on the students' learning progress as well as insights into their individual performance data. This enables teachers to provide the individual student or as a group with better support.

  • Safety first
    Reduce screen time. No webcam in the children's rooms.