In a bid to improve the English skills of both teachers and students, Japan is turning to robots and artificial intelligence. Japan’s Ministry of Education will launch a trial and put English-speaking AI robots in almost 500 schools across the country. This initiative will be launched in April next year.

Japanese students are generally not that good at speaking or writing English. New curriculum guidelines that are due to be implemented in two years are focused on improving those skills. The company will thus rely on artificial intelligence and robots in order to help students improve their oral and written English skills.

NHK reports that the ministry is also going to make study apps and online conversation sessions with native English speakers available to students. In addition to the robot initiative, this will go a long way in improving the English communication skills of students.

Robots will not be a new presence in Japanese classrooms as they have been used previously to aid students. The ministry is reportedly under pressure to improve the English language skills of elementary school teachers. It’s said to lack the funds to hire enough native English speakers for every school. So it’s turning to technology to help bridge that gap while remaining within its budget constraints.

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