The Voxy Education team will travel to Barcelona next week for TBLT 2017, an international conference on Task-Based Language Teaching. So today we’re sharing a sneak peek of the new research the team will be presenting!
TBLT is a proven approach to teaching second languages and it forms the foundation of Voxy’s methodology. TBLT tells us that language learning is more effective when it’s based on concrete tasks or goals that the learner is trying to accomplish in the new target language.
Let’s take a quick example: If you want to learn how to open a bank account in English, you’ll be more likely to accomplish this task if you study English words that are related to banks and personal finance, and if you learn from real-world examples such as actual bank forms or videos of people opening bank accounts. Makes sense, right? Yet many language learning programs take the opposite approach and begin by teaching simple words or phrases that have nothing to do with a learner’s goals, so it’s no surprise that many learners quickly abandon their studies. At Voxy, we know that when we’re presented with material that’s relevant to our goals, we’re more likely to stay engaged and we’re more likely to accomplish the task we set out to complete.
Because language learning is often motivated by a real-world need—such as needing to gain acceptance to a university or earning a raise—one of the ways we measure success at Voxy is by evaluating whether learners are able to accomplish their goals. The research study that Voxy will present at TBLT 2017 confirms that our learners are doing just that, and investigates the relationship between the amount of time learners spend practicing, whether they received personalized instruction from certified English teachers and their real-world accomplishments.
In this study, we surveyed learners to ask whether Voxy helped them to reach their goals and we also asked them to send us proof of their progress. Here are a few things that we learned…
- 87% of survey respondents reached their goals in the timeframe they set for themselves.
- 83% of those learners were also able to offer concrete proof of their accomplishment.
- Out of the learners who didn’t reach their goals, most said the reason was that they hadn’t used Voxy enough.
What’s even more exciting is the wide range of documentation that learners sent us to show that Voxy helped them accomplish their goals. We not only received scores from assessments on the Voxy platform, we also received emails from learners’ professors and employers who reviewed their work positively, a copy of an offer letter for a research position, academic papers written in English and more.
These results show that the one-size-fits-all approach isn’t the best way to learn a new language. To be truly effective and efficient, language learning programs should be tailored to each learner’s real-world goals.
Voxy will be presenting the complete findings from this research study at TBLT 2017 on Thursday, April 20 at 4 PM in the Josep Carner building. We hope to see you there!