This patent addresses the critical issue of turning relevant, real-world English language materials into effective learning materials
“We are thrilled to have patented our unique approach to materials creation,” said Katie Nielson, Voxy’s Chief Education Officer. “By combining our efficient, customized keyword extraction process with the review of expert humans, we can offer learners truly innovative, adaptive and personalized learning experiences.”
Voxy’s pedagogical approach to English language learning is based on decades of empirically-tested academic research, including data that shows that language learners are more likely to succeed when they learn from materials that are relevant to their goals and personal interests, and aligned to their current proficiency levels.
Learning activities and materials for second language learners have traditionally been prepared manually by a teacher, textbook author or curriculum planner, then reproduced en masse. The problem with this model is that the same static materials have to serve many people, and do not address the unique needs of individual learners. Furthermore, this traditional model is extremely resource-intensive, which makes updating learning materials costly and virtually impossible to accomplish in a timely manner.
Voxy is the first and only language learning platform to address this issue by building a tool that allows curriculum developers to quickly transform authentic English-language materials into effective learning objects by automatizing the identification of the keywords that will allow a learner to better understand the meaning of a text. While keyword extraction is not a new technique, earlier approaches have been known to disregard certain words that may actually be very useful for a second language learner.
This approach is extremely beneficial for creating custom content for institutional partners, since it allows for more efficient creation of learning materials. For example, Voxy can take a business’s proprietary English-language content—such as employee training manuals or annual reports—and turn it into language learning materials for non-native English speakers. It also allows Voxy to continuously update its content library, which means learners are always studying with up-to-date resources.
Voxy’s method includes a particular focus on words that are most relevant to non-native English speakers, and collocations—common phrases or word pairings—that research has shown are important for understanding English. Once these keywords and collocations are identified using text summarization and natural language processing algorithms, the output of the algorithms is checked and approved by the curriculum development team and Voxy creates learning activities that support the specific needs of ESL students. Voxy is also the only platform with a proprietary algorithm that considers the difficulty level and subject of each resource along with other data points, which enables Voxy to deliver learning materials that dynamically adapt to a learner’s specific needs in real time. When learners study with relevant materials tailored to their personal needs and unique challenges as a second language learner, they are much more likely to see real-world results.