Will Human TESL Get Terminated?
There’s great hope throughout much of the industrialised world in the ability for robots to one day take control of educating children and adults when it comes to basic learning principles. Reading, writing, and arithmetic instructions can be easily duplicated by A.I. The interaction between teacher and students can be replicated with advanced voice identification and a yet-to-be developed advanced sense of on-the-spot correction inside the robotic mind. In nations and districts where money for education is tight, the one-time expense and long-term savings of “teacherbots” is incredibly tempting.
(image from AFP/Getty)
In the meantime, however, consider the ramifications of online learning experiences on the demand for TESL work. Some of the best online colleges offer programs related directly with education and literacy simply because these emphases almost go hand-in-hand with the online college experience. Perhaps you’ve even seen TESL programmes available online. If you’ve partaken, then you know how easy language-learning comes to people on the computer.
If you haven’t taken any online TESL classes, then consider the success of Rosetta Stone and other highly interactive independent language learning software. If you wanted to learn English as a second language, wouldn’t you forgo being taught by an instructor in exchange for giving some software or otherwise online means a try first? This might be where the TESL industry is headed – down the drain that is.
Or this is being looked at all wrong. The inability for someone to communicate with other individuals can be pretty inhibiting when it comes to learning a foreign language. Rosetta Stone and similar software is incredibly popular, but does such stuff replace the importance of real world conversation in developing new language skills? Let’s hope so, for the sake of all those people out there who want to make a living teaching English as a second language.
The reason we don’t simply have a HAL 9000-esque computer at the head of every classroom or ever will is because no matter how much we try to spin the revolution of online education, without the interaction of an active being, especially when it comes to language learning, there’s little hope of establishing permanent knowledge wells in the minds of individuals. But don’t get too cozy, because the aforementioned future teacherbots could provide the interaction simple computers can’t replicate. Who knows though, maybe the robots will need real life ESL before they can teach it?
So, what do you think?