Robot Teaches Language For Immigrant Kids

A project known as L2TOR teaches immigrant children languages that they need to know before they go to certain school systems in Europe. Instead of human teachers, NAO robots conducts one-on-one language lessons with the children that gives them a three-dimensional tangible presence.

Life might be so difficult for immigrant kids as they have to make new friends, get familiar with new places and learn new languages at such a young age. This problem may just be solved as robot experts and linguists from universities all over the European region have been working on a project dubbed as L2TOR.

The L2TOR project aims to help kids gain the local language skills before they enter European schools. This project will be launching on January 2016. It will be using NAO robots to help children learn the European language.

The pilot project will be working with children in cities of Utrecht and Tilburg to boost their Dutch language, German in the Bielefeld area and English language in Istanbul. The robot tutors will have the children walk through a language course utilizing a tablet computer under the NAO robot's watchful eyes.

Aldebaran Robotics designed the NAO robots in France. These robots are regularly used in schoolrooms. As the lesson starts, the robots will be explaining what the kids are going to learn. Once the lesson is on its way, the robots will observe body language of the child and assist them when they get confused.

Tilburg University's Paul Vogt, who works for L2TOR in the Netherlands, said that the project wants to help kids improve their language skills through one-on-one interactions with the NAO robot.

It is a fact that a child learns better in one-on-one tutorial settings than in classroom settings, and L2TOR is not the only project with the idea of using robots to teach children. At Yale University, Brian Scassellati and Aditi Ramachandran are studying how kids interact with robots. At the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, a system known as CoWriter helps kids practice handwriting with robot assistance.

Although human teachers are still the best teachers when it comes to learning processes, learning with robots provides children a three-dimensional tangible presence that enables them to learn more efficiently. Moreover, robots have its advantages from human teachers, such as endless patience.

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