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EnglishCentral in Thailand

AI-powered English Conversational Platform Now Available in Thailand

EnglishCentral will be at the Thai TESOL 2023. Learn about EnglishCentral’s new AI-powered English Conversation Platform, now with local support in the Thai language.

EnglishCentral is an AI-powered English learning platform specifically designed to help improve conversational English, using the latest in speech recognition and natural language processing. It combines interactive videos, best in-class curriculum development, and the highest quality live teachers. The premise behind EnglishCentral’s “Youtube for Language Learning Approach” is to provide learners with engaging videos on topics they find interesting at their English level, and then have them engage in conversations about such topics.

In December 2022, EnglishCentral launched a Thai version of the product, with a fully localized Thai user interface as well as a Thai in-context learning dictionary. The Workshop will demonstrate how to select and set up classes, choose online courses, create weekly goals for watching (listening), speaking and vocabulary study, setting up weekly assessment tests, and tracking student progress, and generating grade reports. The Workshop will also share best practices from the over 1,000 schools that have deployed EnglishCentral, including use of game dynamics and scoreboards to motivate students and use of CEFR-based assessment tools to demonstrate student outcomes at the end of a semester of study.

Alan Schwartz has over two decades of experience in the EdTech industry. He began his career as head of Nuance’s Mobile & Consumer division where he worked with a team at Sony to develop one of the first mobile language translation games using speech technology called Talkman. In 2009, backed by Google Ventures, he founded EnglishCentral, now one of the world’s leading AI-powered platforms for learning conversational English, with over 10 million registered users, and 200,000 paying customers. Alan has a B.A. from Princeton University and a J.D. from Harvard University.

You can request for a customized online demo session with us and we’ll get back to you if in any case you are not going to be able to make it to the workshop.

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EnglishCentral Launches Comprehensive Vocabulary Learning System

EnglishCentral’s Comprehensive Vocabulary Learning System

Now includes study apps, progress tests and new assessment tests

Fukuoka, Japan, November 14, 2022. EnglishCentral, a global leader in online conversational English learning, released an update to its comprehensive vocabulary learning system at this year’s Japanese Association of Language Teachers annual conference (JALT) held in Fukuoka, Japan. The update includes a new Vocabulary Level Test (VLT), to assess students’ levels at the beginning of study on EnglishCentral and then assess their progress, against internationally recognized standards such as the CEFR, at the end of their study on EnglishCentral.

EnglishCentral’s Comprehensive Vocabulary Learning System

Now includes study apps, progress tests and new assessment tests

Japan, 14th November 2022. EnglishCentral, the leading provider of online English learning, has released a comprehensive vocabulary learning system at this year’s Japanese Association of Language Teachers annual conference (JALT) held in Nagoya, Japan.

Learn words in-context

The core of EnglishCentral’s vocabulary learning system is a corpus of over 20,000 authentic English learning videos, each word of which has been semantically tagged with its in-context meaning sense, and which also supports multi-words and collocations.

Learn words in-context

The core of EnglishCentral’s vocabulary learning system is a corpus of over 20,000 authentic English learning videos, each word of which has been semantically tagged with its in-context meaning sense, and which also supports multi-words and collocations.

Wordlists ensure coverage of high-frequency words

The system includes research-supported high-frequency wordlists, which cover 92%* of words students are likely to encounter in an average newspaper, book, magazine, TV show, movie or daily speech. The system also supports speciality wordlists.

General Vocab

Each level on EnglishCentral contains a high-frequency wordlist mapped to CEFR (A0 to C2).

Academic Vocab

The 960 most common words in academic texts and lectures.

TOEIC Vocab

The 1200 most common words that appear on the TOEIC exam.

Business Vocab

The 1700 most common words for learners looking to master general business English situations.

*Based on the New General Service List and other lists provided by Browne, C. & Culligan, B.

Wordlists ensure coverage of high-frequency words

The system includes research-supported high-frequency wordlists, which cover 92%* of words students are likely to encounter in an average newspaper, book, magazine, TV show, movie or daily speech. The system also supports speciality wordlists.

General Vocab

Each level on EnglishCentral contains a high-frequency wordlist mapped to CEFR (A0 to C2).

Academic Vocab

The 960 most common words in academic texts and lectures.

TOEIC Vocab

The 1200 most common words that appear on the TOEIC exam.

Business Vocab

The 1700 most common words for learners looking to master general business English situations.

*Based on the New General Service List and other lists provided by Browne, C. & Culligan, B.

Diagnostic Mode Optimized for Individual Learners

Unlike many vocab learning tools that demotivate students by repeatedly forcing them to learn words they already know, the EnglishCentral tools automatically mark words as known based on a diagnostic mode used when first introducing words to students to study.

Enforced Review Mode

Unlike other tools which encourage students to learn words just once for a test, the EnglishCentral system forces students to review their weak words 80% of the time they study.

Speaking & Other Modes

Includes a state-of-the-art “speaking recall” mode, powered by EnglishCentral’s IntelliSpeech SystemSM, which tests students’ ability to recall words correctly by speaking them in context. The system also supports multiple modes of increasing retrieval difficulty, including dictation, multiple-choice and typing, in each case with and without hints.

Multilingual Support

Supports eleven different L1 languages: Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, Spanish, Polish, Thai and Portuguese.

Placement, Progress & Assessment Tests

Students start with a placement test, mapped to CEFR levels. Then, weekly in-class vocabulary progress tests seamlessly tie outside of class study with in-class progress tests. The tests ensure students properly review, as each weekly progress test contains 50% review words, covering the full range of all past weeks. Finally, at the end of the course, students take an assessment test again mapped to CEFR levels to demonstrate their overall progress.

Placement, Progress & Assessment Tests

Students start with a placement test, mapped to CEFR levels. Then, weekly in-class vocabulary progress tests seamlessly tie outside of class study with in-class progress tests. The tests ensure students properly review, as each weekly progress test contains 50% review words, covering the full range of all past weeks. Finally, at the end of the course, students take an assessment test again mapped to CEFR levels to demonstrate their overall progress.

Teacher Tools

A full suite of teacher tools allows teachers to set weekly goals for students, track the number of words students study each week, view results of weekly progress tests and quickly identify students who are falling behind on their vocabulary study.

Teacher Tools

A full suite of teacher tools allows teachers to set weekly goals for students, track the number of words students study each week, view results of weekly progress tests and quickly identify students who are falling behind on their vocabulary study.

Contact Us

For more information or to try out EnglishCentral’s Vocabulary Learning System, contact us

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Twenty-four Different Accents of English Now Available

New Search Feature Allows Learners to Find Videos by Accent

Today, EnglishCentral launched a new “Search by accent type” capability on the EnglishCentral Platform. We added this feature as a reflection of the fact that while 1.5 billion people on the planet speak at least some English, less than half speak with traditional North American, British, Australian, and New Zealand accents. See our blog post EnglishCentral Teacher Global English for more detailed statistics..

What this feature means for English learners:

    Business English is international. Face-to-face and remote meetings are often with different nationalities and different accents. This tool will help you to improve your understanding in these international environments.

    Dealing with the unexpected. In business or traveling, we never know what accent we are going to come across. Working on different accents will allow you to deal with many different situations.

    Focus on culture. Learning different accents will not only develop your listening comprehension but also help you discover the diversity of cultures linked to those accents.

This new feature makes over 24 accents available in the EnglishCentral video library of 23,000+ videos, including some learner favorites such as: Australian (Office Small Talk), British (Me Before You), Japanese (Exhausted But Happy), Chinese (What Jack Ma Regrets), Indian (Inspiring Girls to Believe), Nigerian (Staying in Rhythm), Pakistani (He Named Me Malala), and Polish (Grandpa Learns English).

To find videos by accent type, learners can now filter and search videos by accents.

Check out this new feature for accent search on EnglishCentral by entering a search term here.

Happy Learning!

EnglishCentral Team

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EnglishCentral Teaches Global English

Over 24 Accents are Available in the EnglishCentral Video Library

English is the world’s most widely spoken language with approximately 1.5 billion speakers globally. However, there is a wide range of different accents and dialects represented in that figure — over 160 distinct accents and dialects by our estimates.

Not surprisingly, North American English is the most common accent at 340 million people, including Standard American, Canadian English and other distinctive accents such as the Southern accent, African-American accents, etc.

A bit more surprising is that there are an estimated 178 million Nigerians, 128 million Indians, 108 million Pakistani, and 63 million Filipinos who speak conversationally fluent but accented English. That is well ahead of the estimated 62 million that speak traditional British English, even including the 1.5 million Scots and 870 thousand Welsh, or the 22 million Australians and 4 million New Zealanders.

The global prevalence of accented “Global” English — different from accents one might think of as standard (Britain, North America or Australia) — is even more staggering when you consider that the number of conversational Chinese speakers globally is over 300 million, including Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Chinese diaspora.

Our team at EnglishCentral has pulled together data showing the most common accents grouped by what we consider to be phonologically similar from the learner’s perspective. We constructed these Accent Groups from the perspective of intelligibility to a listener of that particular accent of English. This isn’t a cultural or even geographic categorization; rather, it is a way to represent the different types of English accents you might hear if you picked a random English speaker out of the 1.5 billion English speakers on the planet.

English Speakers by Major Accent Groups

Accent GroupCountriesEstimated English Speakers
North AmericanUSA, Canada347 million [1 2]
ChineseChina, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau300 million [1]
AfricanNigeria, Uganda, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Liberia, Zambia277 million [1 2 3 4 5 6]
South AsianBangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka270 million [1 2 3 4]
Southeast AsianCambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand103 million [1 2 3 4 5 6]
GermanicGermany, Austria, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway88 million [1 2 3 4 5 6 7]
BritishEngland, Scotland, Wales62 million [1]
ArabicEgypt, Iraq, Israel, Morocco, Jordan, Algeria, Yemen, Lebanon59 million [1]
SlavicRussia, Poland, Ukraine, Czechia,42 million [1 2 3 4]
SpanishMexico, Spain, Argentina, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Chile34 million [1 2 3 4 5 6]
OceaniaAustralia, New Zealand26 million [1]
FrenchFrance, Rwanda, Cameroon, Madagascar, Seychelles25 million [1 2 3 4 5]
KoreanSouth Korea25 million [1]
BalkanRomania, Greece, Croatia, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Slovenia19 million [1 2 3 4]
ItalianItaly17 million [1]
PortugueseBrazil, Portugal13 million [1 2]
TurkicTurkey, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan14 million [1 2 3]
JapaneseJapan7 million [1]
IrishIreland4 million [1]
CreoleJamaica, Trinidad and Tobago4 million [1]
BalticLithuania, Latvia2 million [1]

As our goal at EnglishCentral is to teach English as it actually is spoken around the world, we have assembled video lessons that cover 24 accents on the platform. With over 23,000 videos, the large majority, over 60%, are with North American accents. But we also have over 1000 videos with British English, over 600 with Japanese English, and over 500 with Irish, Scottish, Australian, varieties.

Here’s one of our favorites: two Scottish men in an elevator.

Try out some of these other favorites as well: Australian (Office Small Talk), British (Me Before You), Japanese (Exhausted But Happy), Chinese (What Jack Ma Regrets), Indian (Inspiring Girls to Believe), Nigerian (Staying in Rhythm), Pakistani (He Named Me Malala), and Polish (Grandpa Learns English).

Or, you can search through our entire database by accent by using our search feature, which we launched in September 2022.

Happy Learning!

EnglishCentral Team

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EnglishCentral 2022 Course Catalog

EnglishCentral 2022 Course Catalog

  • Over 30 new courses launched in 2021
  • Expanded coverage for Business English
  • Alignment with the latest CEFR curriculum

  • You may also download the PDF version here

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    Review of EnglishCentral in Language Learning and Technology Journal

    Review of EnglishCentral in Language Learning & Technology Journal

    Language Learning & Technology

    Gregory Strong, Aoyama Gakuin University
    October 2021, Volume 25, Issue 3 pp. 56–61
    ISSN 1094-3501

    EnglishCentral

    Product Type: a web-based learning platform
    Requirements: a mobile device, tablet, or computer; a microphone and speakers
    Access: a website with a mobile app from the Apple Store or Google Play syncing other devices so that learners can log on anywhere
    Available From: EnglishCentral
    Cost: academic or individual rates starting at $8 monthly per student per class for 4 months, $6 for 6 months, and $5 for 12 months. Additional charges for the Go Live! Lessons employing live tutors.

    EnglishCentral (EC) is a commercial learning platform (CLP) well-suited to individual learning, to language practice in class, or to integration in a course curriculum. Its website includes many authentic commercials, documentaries, movie trailers, news reports, and speeches that provide the extensive listening and speaking opportunities that are essential to language acquisition. Because educators cannot provide enough classroom time or even suitable resources, a CLP like EC can help bridge the gap. Conveniently accessible for tablets, personal computers (PCs), and smart phones, EC offers a strong pedagogy and its versatile platform enables teachers to conveniently monitor and respond to student efforts.

    Founded in Japan in 2008, EC is not well known in countries where English is a first or second language, but it is reaching a growing number of students and educators worldwide. EC incorporates several key hypotheses from contemporary language acquisition research. First, it provides students with extensive exposure to authentic comprehensible speech in real-life contexts. EC also leverages learner motivation through letting students choose their own listening material. Finally, it promotes language acquisition through exposing students to the vocabulary essential to academic or business communication. Students learn of gaps in their vocabulary and create personal word lists that they review through spaced repetition activities.

    The EC website, which the company sometimes refers to as “a YouTube for language learners”, consists of 15,400 videos that will cover a very wide range of student interests (see Figure 1). Some videos have been obtained through licensing agreements, but most (like Viola Davis’ 2017 Oscar acceptance speech or the big tech CEOs’ recent address to Congress) are in the public domain. These are high interest materials to students of popular culture and of business, while other videos cover such topics as science, travel, and food. They help motivate students to put in the many hours required to develop their listening comprehension and speaking proficiency.

    Once they become familiar with the website, students find it easy to navigate it. They can synchronize their phones with other devices such as their PCs by downloading an app from the EC website, so that they can pick up their studies wherever they wish. After logging into the EC website, learners can choose a video from such themes as Business, Media, Social, and Academic, and select the video’s level of difficulty (Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced). They can control a video’s speed of play, listen to the video multiple times, and consult the video’s transcript. In addition, they can click on any word in the transcript and get a dictionary definition. After watching the video, students complete substitution and sequencing exercises based on the lines that they have just heard, as well as practice pronunciation by repeating these same lines aloud. EC enables students to track the videos that they have watched, the words that they have learned, the lines that they have spoken, and the progress that they have made on their course goals.

    Figure 1
    The EC Homepage Menu and Toolbar

    One of EC’s most powerful features is automated feedback on learners’ pronunciation and fluency provided through EC’s trademark IntelliSpeechSM which draws on an expanding database of more than 600 million utterances from EC users worldwide. Students with little experience or opportunity to speak English can try pronouncing a phrase from a video as many times as they wish without worrying about the reactions of their teacher or classmates. Figure 2 shows the feedback given to a student, congratulating the student on good pronunciation. By clicking on an underlined target word, a student can hear the word, repeat it, and view the word broken into its phonemes. Then by pressing the microphone icon, a student can make a recording, hear the recording played back, and receive automated feedback on it. The student also can save the target word for further review.

    Figure 2
    Speaking Practice

    Furthermore, and very innovatively, a student can use the vocabulary presented in the videos to develop an individualized word list and take short quizzes on the words, at spaced intervals, to achieve long-term recall. This approach to learning vocabulary is much more effective and efficient than the traditional approach to teaching vocabulary in a language classroom where the teacher instructs the whole class on the same words regardless of which words each student may already know. Figure 3 shows a student’s access of “My Words”, charting the number of times the student has taken a quiz on the different words, the difficulty level of each word, and videos in which the word appears.

    Figure 3
    My Words

    EC’s vocabulary learning component is built on research into high frequency word lists drawn from the English corpora. Browne et al. (2013) analyzed the 2-billion-word Cambridge English Corpus (CEC) to develop the New General Service List (NGSL) of 2,800 high frequency English words. EC employs this list as its core vocabulary of which 960 words are very high frequency academic words (e.g., distribution, impact), 1,200 are essential for TOEIC test takers (e.g., client, conference), and 1,700 words are high frequency business words (e.g., equity, goods). EC claims that students learning their core vocabulary will understand 92% of the words they are likely to encounter in print media, TV shows, movies, or daily speech.

    Not surprisingly, EC has a very robust appeal to individual learners who access EC’s self-study modules on vocabulary learning and TOEIC test preparation on their smart phones. These users, particularly the corporate ones, can purchase an additional service, EC’s GoLive feature, where students schedule Zoom lessons with a real tutor coaching them on pronunciation, stress, pitch, and prosodics.

    For teachers and program administrators, EC offers a very sophisticated learning management system (LMS) that enables them to set class goals and track student engagement. A teacher or program administrator can use EC as the listening, speaking, or vocabulary component of a course. Also, a teacher can tailor EC to fit a course theme by choosing the videos that are available for student viewing. A teacher can assign student use of EC the way that teachers once assigned students time in language laboratories. The major difference is that this listening and speaking practice is far more interesting and efficient compared to the old approach. The teacher sets weekly and term performance goals and gives marks for achieving them. These assignments can be easily adjusted for groups of different ages, needs, abilities, and motivation (e.g., by weighting listening more than speaking and vocabulary).

    The LMS shows the videos that each student has watched, the time each student has spent listening, the vocabulary items that the student learned, the number of lines that the student has spoken, the student’s overall progress towards meeting the course goals, and a comparison of each student to their classmates in listening, vocabulary learning, speaking, and attaining course goals. Teachers can also use the LMS to message whole classes or to email individual students.

    Figure 4 shows part of a class list with the students’ names redacted. The teacher can see each student’s progress toward achieving the course goal of watching 71 videos. In addition, the teacher can view the individual videos a student has watched or peruse a student’s list of vocabulary words. Just as easily, the teacher also can check the number of lines that a particular student has spoken and listen to recordings of each line by clicking an icon. At the term’s end, EC provides teachers with downloadable class PDFs for ease of grading.

    Figure 4
    Videos Watched

    Recently, EC improved their interface so that a student logging on gets recommended videos based on their listening history and suggested daily goals. EC’s beta version, released in North America, transcribes students’ speech, shows the transcription to students, and provides further conversational prompts. Impressively, the EC platform is moving toward interactive speech like Siri or Google where student input will generate automated responses, simulating the interaction of a real conversation.

    At present, EC includes videos for younger learners and some videos specifically created to teach English pronunciation and grammar. Videos for the latter two categories include, for instance, the “l and r” difficulty that Japanese speakers face in speaking English and grammatical points such as adjective ordering in English. By offering these traditional types of video offerings in addition to its authentic videos, EC is no doubt responding to a growing and varied consumer base. According to the EC website, 1,050 schools and businesses and 10,012,400 learners use it worldwide. Besides English and Japanese, the website supports nine other languages, including Korean, Turkish, and French. Like most CLPs these days, EC operates with a subscription model whereby students buy a monthly, school term, or annual subscription. EC also offers institutional pricing so that the cost per student for a term is roughly the price of a textbook.

    Interestingly, one of the great strengths of EC also constitutes a weakness. It is extremely convenient to access the EC website via smart phones, but it is not as easy to read text on a smart phone as it would be while working on a tablet or a laptop. Second, although students can access the website anywhere and at any time on their phones, this can be problematic for some. They may feel embarrassed about speaking into their phones on public transportation and practicing English. In addition, students are often ambivalent about employing their smart phones which are so much a part of their social networks for educational purposes. Some students will no doubt worry about exceeding their data plans. Finally, students often use their smart phones in class for texting, reading e-mails, and surfing the Internet and may find it hard to stay on task and do their school work.

    Finally, as with integrating any computer-assisted instruction (CAI) into a classroom or using it as part of a course, teachers will need to thoroughly understand how EC works before teaching with it. EC’s versatility and its many features mean that learning how to use EC effectively might take time. Teachers also need to provide their students with a good orientation to EC’s features, perhaps by introducing them to EC in the first class of the term and then, in subsequent classes, providing class time for reviewing its features and trouble-shooting any problems that students might experience. Even with EC’s high interest videos, students will need frequent teacher encouragement to meet their weekly targets. Teachers might take time at the beginning of each lesson to review the class’s progress, perhaps highlighting the work of higher scoring students (without using their names or identifying them), or finding time during class to coach individual students who are falling behind.

    Altogether though, EC represents a significant development in CAI, an example that will encourage other companies to create innovative educational technology. The use of so much authentic material in this program is commendable, particularly if used with adult learners who will appreciate its relevance to their lives. EC’s potential for teaching vocabulary is remarkable and unlike anything else available on CLPs today. Likewise, the technology it uses for speaking practice is very useful and its future development worth following. Those educators interested in this powerful, innovative learning platform should visit the EC website to explore its various features and affordances for L2 instruction.

    Browne, C., Culligan, B., & Phillips, J. (2013). The New General Service List. New General Service List Project. http://www.newgeneralservicelist.org

    About the Author

    Gregory Strong, English Department professor and language coordinator at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo for the past 26 years, now works as an educational consultant with research interests in curriculum design and faculty development. His numerous publications include chapters in various TESOL books, a biography, works of fiction, and graded readers.
    Email: gregstrongtokyo@gmail.com


    You may also download the PDF version here

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    EnglishCentral and Tosho Group Establish an EdTech Joint Venture in Japan

    EnglishCentral and Tosho Group Establish an EdTech Joint Venture in Japan

    Tokyo, Japan – October 26, 2021.
    EnglishCentral today announced a joint venture to develop and distribute English language learning solutions for the school market in Japan with Tosho Printing Co., Ltd (”Tosho”). Tosho is a subsidiary of the Toppan Group, one of Japan’s leading publishing and printing companies with more than $13 billion in annual revenue and more than 52,000 employees.

    As part of the joint venture, Tosho educational group and EnglishCentral will establish a venture dedicated to providing services for the K-12 and University school market in Japan. The venture will operate under the EnglishCentral brand and will focus on the K-12 and university students that Tosho touches every year, targeting 1 million students.

    EnglishCentral’s IntelliSpeech platform will be at the core of the venture. IntelliSpeech uses AI-powered interactive exercises to help students develop their spoken English by given them instant feedback on their pronunciation and fluency. The IntelliSpeech platform is already bundled with Kirihara’s most successful government approved Textbooks, Pro-Vision, WorldTrek and Empower. The goal of the venture is not only to expand the number of titles and reach of IntelliSpeech but also to create a whole new set of products based on AI-powered chatbots that can effectively both train and assess students’ true communicative ability.

    “EnglishCentral is proud to play a key role in Tosho’s digital transformation strategy, “‘ stated Hirofumi Matsumura, the General Manager of EnglishCentral Japan. “I am delighted to expand our partnership with Tosho to accelerate adoption of IntelliSpeech into the K-12 market. The demand for EnglishCentral’s English speaking solutions has been exploding and we are delighted to have a partner with the size and reach of Tosho to help us dramatically expand our footprint in the Japan school market. With the support of Tosho in this new venture, we will exponentially increase our sales and support coverage for the school market in Japan, with seven local branches covering each region of Japan. I’m delighted to be leading this new venture,” he added.

    “We are very impressed by how EnglishCentral is applying the latest in AI-powered learning and assessment technologies to the English learning products,” stated Seiji Yano, Senior Managing Director at Tosho. There is still a long way to go to bring the speaking level of Japanese K-12 and university students to compete effectively in the global marketplace. Through this new venture, we are proud to offer new, innovative solutions to Japanese students to help improve their spoken English.”

    About EnglishCentral:

    EnglishCentral is the most widely adopted AI-powered English language conversation platform in the world, changing the way students and professionals across the globe learn to speak English. Adopted by over 1000 universities, schools and corporations in over 100 countries, the company delivers interactive, video-based language learning experiences for both self-study and one-on-one tutoring, providing one of the most widely adopted and complete platforms for practicing and mastering English conversation online. Its extensive library of video lessons, proprietary IntelliSpeech℠ speech assessment technology, and pre-built course modules guarantee results for English as a Second Language (ESL) learners.

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    EnglishCentral Launches New Pronunciation Center

    EnglishCentral Launches New Pronunciation Center

    New Machine Learning Techniques Double Precision for Learners

    September 9, 2021. Boston, MA. EnglishCentral today released its new Pronunciation Center, the industry’s first online English pronunciation tool trained on over 1 billion learner events.

    For the last 10 years, our learners have provided us over 1 billion learning events on how they learn English, said Alan Schwartz, Founder & CEO of EnglishCentral. We have used this data to create what we call a “Teacher-Machine Learning Loop” that leverages our team of over 600 trained professional English teachers to train and improve our IntelliSpeechSM machine learning platform.

    The new Pron Center, powered by IntelliSpeechSM, more than doubles the accuracy in detecting errors in learners’ pronunciation and fluency compared to previous versions. The goal with AI-feedback on EnglishCentral is to emulate what great teachers do. For example, instead of pointing out each and every pronunciation mistake a student makes, a great teacher focuses on just those egregious mistakes that make the students speech unintelligible. This is key to maintain students’ motivation to keep practicing. The 2x increase in accuracy in our latest version is specifically related to reducing “false alerts”, i.e., penalizing learners for mistakes that are in fact not mistakes that matter for intelligibility.

    “EnglishCentral has led the market here for English pronunciation training for almost a decade now,” said Dr. Charles Browne, PhD at Meiji Gakuin University, and developer of the New General Service List (NGSL), a popular high-frequency vocabulary list used worldwide. “In addition to the accuracy improvements with this latest Pron Center, the tight integration with high-frequency vocabulary lists means learners can focus their speaking practice on just those words that matter the most. EnglishCentral is the only vocab tool on the market I am aware of that allows students to systematically practice speaking high frequency words in context,” added Dr. Browne.

    The Pronunciation Center is currently available on the desktop and mobile version of the EnglishCentral website. It will be available on Android and iOS apps later this year.

    Press Contact:
    Shun Furuyama, Marketing Director, press@englishcentral.com, Phone: +815038023236

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    AI Expert Steven Chambers to Join EnglishCentral Advisory Board

    AI Expert Steven Chambers to Join EnglishCentral Advisory Board


    May 15, 2020. Boston, MA. EnglishCentral, the most widely adopted AI-powered English language conversation platform in the world, today announced that Steven Chambers will join as a strategic advisor.

    Mr. Chambers is a recognized leader in artificial intelligence and speech recognition, having served as President at Nuance Communications, the world’s leading speech recognition company, and as CMO of Sense, Inc., named by VentureBeat in 2019 as one of the world’s top 100 artificial intelligence companies.

    “Steve’s background in AI is super helpful to us at this stage in our corporate life given his leadership of both entrepreneurial and multi-billion dollar organizations at scale”, said Alan Schwartz, CEO of EnglishCentral. “Additionally, Steve’s recent focus exploring the nexus of innovation and educational pedagogies via his PhD candidacy at the Harvard School of Education fits directly in with our key mission: how best to combine recent advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence to support better teaching and better outcomes for learners. With industry-leaders like Steve and Mike Phillips, CEO of Sense, on our team, I am confident we are on the right path to build the industry’s leading solutions combining live teaching and artificial intelligence into what we call our Teacher-Machine Learning Loop.”

    About EnglishCentral:

    EnglishCentral is the most widely adopted AI-powered English language conversation platform in the world, changing the way students and professionals across the globe learn to speak English. Adopted by over 1000 universities, schools and corporations in over 100 countries, the company delivers interactive, video-based language learning experiences for both self-study and one-on-one tutoring, providing one of the most widely adopted and complete platforms for practicing and mastering English conversation online. Its extensive library of video lessons, proprietary IntelliSpeech℠ speech assessment technology, and pre-built course modules guarantee results for English as a Second Language (ESL) learners.

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    Meet the New EnglishCentral

    Meet New EnglishCentral

    The latest version of EnglishCentral is now live!

    We are proud to announce the latest version of EnglishCentral is now available in 10 languages. It’s a ground-up rewrite of our platform using the latest progressive web technology, built by our teams in Boston, Ankara, Tokyo, Seoul, and Manila.

    And, we are just getting started… We have a new version of our IntelliSpeechSM assessment platform on the way next quarter too. To help us continue to innovate further in applying the latest technologies to language learning, we are hiring speech science engineers, mobile UX developers as well as great ELL teachers and linguists. If interested, please reach out at careers@englishcentral.com.

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    Try the new design and features and let us know (contact us) what you think.

    Happy learning

    The EnglishCentral Team