Beijing, February 2, 2018: Pearson and Microsoft Research Asia (MSRA) jointly announced they have signed a three year strategic partnership agreement to integrate artificial intelligence capabilities into market-leading English language learning curriculum. The Longman English+ app is available in China through WeChat.
The app is built on Pearson’s ‘Longman Welcome to English’ curriculum and integrates Microsoft’s artificial intelligence technologies to create ‘Longman English+. The AI-powered English language interactive learning application provides students with a personalized learning experience tailored to their specific learning needs.
Two key technologies used in the app are speech evaluation and natural language processing. Speech evaluation is backed by Microsoft’s speech recognition and speech synthesis technology. The use of “people to machine conversation” aims to provide an aid to accelerating the listening and speaking skills of learners.
“Rich resources are available for both teachers and students, yet teaching and learning English as a foreign language is still highly challenging. Longman English+ will provide a learning environment from offline classroom studies to online, in-class learning, mobile solutions, and social media through live tutoring.” said Joe Lam, managing director of Pearson Greater China. “Longman English+ not only complements classroom learning but also presents higher visibility of students’ performance that will contribute to greater efficiency and effectiveness of teaching.”
Dr. Hsiao-Wuen Hon, corporate vice president of Microsoft and managing director of Microsoft Research Asia, said: “Longman English+ is a great example of using Microsoft AI technologies to empower education. We hope that the partnership between Microsoft and Pearson can improve the language learning experience and enhance the outcomes of English language learners in China. Pioneers in the education industry, including Pearson, are seeking ways to apply AI in their pursuit of digital transformation. As a technology enabler, we are pleased to be part of this. We are committed to providing ‘Digital-Transformation-as-a-Service’, to help our partners achieve digital difference. ”
Pearson is the world’s learning company, with expertise in educational courseware and assessment, and a range of teaching and learning services powered by technology. Their mission is to help people make progress through access to better learning. Pearson believes that learning opens up opportunities, creating fulfilling careers and better lives. For more, please visit http://www.pearson.com.
About Longman Welcome to English
Already a market leading brand in China, Longman Welcome to English has been adopted by over 100 leading primary schools and has helped over 200,000 primary school students in China to improve their English skills over the past decade. It is one of many English language titles in the Longman family, a brand owned by Pearson with a nearly 300-year history.
About Microsoft Research Asia
Microsoft Research Asia, Microsoft’s fundamental research arm in the Asia Pacific region, was founded in 1998 in Beijing. By attracting the best talent from Asia and across the globe, Microsoft Research Asia has grown into a world-class research lab that constantly pushes forward the state of the art and helps to improve people’s computing experiences. The lab conducts basic and applied research in areas central to Microsoft’s long-term strategy and future computing vision. Large numbers of technologies from Microsoft Research Asia have been transferred to Microsoft products, including Office, Windows, Azure, Bing, Visual Studio, Xbox Kinect, as well as AI products such as XiaoIce, Cortana and Microsoft Translator etc. For more information, please visit https://www.msra.cn/.