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New robotic English teacher debuts in Taiwan

May 26, 2012 9:50am

Tags: Taiwan
A new locally developed robot programmed to teach English made its debut in Taiwan Friday, Taiwan's Central News Agency reported.

The debut coincided with the opening day of the 15th International CALL Research Conference at Providence University in Taichung.

Vivian Wu, one of the robot's designers and an associate professor of English language, literature and linguistics at Providence University, said the robot's appearance can be modified, the CNA report said.

The robotic English teacher has a "large doll head" and arms and a body that can make movements based on the dialogues being taught in an English class.

Presently, it is being used to teach at remote elementary schools in Yunlin County. Wu said the results were promising so far.

Wu added the robot's present design allows interactive dialogues with elementary school students.

She said the robot allows young students to learn to speak English in a "stressless" environment and in a fun way.

The robotic teacher is the first of its kind in Taiwan. It was developed and manufactured in cooperation with National Formosa University in Yunlin County, Wu said.

Meanwhile, the biennial international conference on research in Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL), which was being held in Taiwan for the first time, attracted more than 200 domestic and foreign scholars and experts.

It will run until May 27. — LBG, GMA News
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