ETRI introduces AI tutor teaching foreigners

Image: ETRI researchers demonstrate the reading comprehension conversational technology of the reading comprehension AI system. see more

Credit: Research Institute for Electronics and Telecommunications (ETRI)

The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) has developed an AI technology for reading comprehension that allows you to learn to listen, speak and read foreign languages ​​by speaking to an artificial intelligence (AI) tutor. It is expected to be of great help in the spread of AI-based language teaching services.

The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) introduced a Reading Comprehension AI Tutor, an artificial intelligence technology for reading education that introduced deep learning-based dialog processing technology to reading comprehension education for the first time in the world. This is expected to make it easier and more effective for Koreans to learn English and for foreigners to learn Korean.

The reading comprehension AI tutor technology developed by the research team helps learners to learn to read and listen English language based on textbooks just like private tutors. It also asks questions about the content of the textbook, conducts dialogues about the content read and evaluates the learners’ answers. By doing this, it helps learners to see the impact of learning with private tutors. In addition, learners can receive English reading comprehension lessons that were only possible through face-to-face classes, through non-face-to-face classes at home or away from home.

ETRI has already developed AI-based conversational technology for foreign language teaching and provided services. EBS’ AI PengTalk is applied with ETRI’s English speech recognition, pronunciation scoring and free conversation processing technology. This service is used nationwide as a public English language learning service for primary schools. In addition, the same technology will be applied to the King Sejong Institute Foundation’s “King Sejong Institute AI Korean Tutor” to provide an opportunity to learn Korean for students who lack the ability to communicate with Koreans.

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Existing conversational foreign language teaching technology supports foreign language learning by conversing with native speakers in English or Korean by conversing with AI on various contextual topics. In contrast, the research team improved the teaching method to teach and assess foreign language books while reading and speaking together. AI technology for reading comprehension education is applied with non-native speaker speech recognition technology, pronunciation assessment technology, machine translation technology and dialogue processing technology for reading education developed by ETRI, enabling ▲listening and reading ▲text comprehension ▲reading conversation service.

When listening and reading texts, the learner’s pronunciation is assessed and feedback on the pronunciation is given when the learner listens and reads the text read by the reading AI teacher. When the learner selects a part of the text comprehension that he or she does not understand well or that he or she is curious about while reading the text, the reading AI tutor shares the meaning in the native language. Furthermore, in the reading conversation, the reading comprehension AI tutor asks questions about the text and when the user answers, it evaluates the correctness of the meaning of the user’s answer and gives a hint for the correct answer.

Lee Yoon-geun, Director of ETRI Artificial Intelligence Research Center, said, “I hope that the AI ​​technology for reading will be of great help to local and foreign learners who want to learn to read with native English speakers.”

The research team is also developing technology to automatically rate essays written by learners for reading content. It will also continue its follow-up research to offer AI tutoring services to help with reading, listening, speaking and writing.

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During the project, researchers achieved among others: 35 patents, 41 published articles, 21 technology transfers and the adoption of 2 international standards.


This technology, developed as part of the project “Development of a Korean language tutoring service for foreigners based on semi-supervised language learning technology”, has achieved impressive results.

article title

On the way to dialogue-based reading comprehension promotion

Article publication date

December 29, 2022

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