English Teaching Robot Comes with a Cost
English Teaching Robot Comes with a Cost
  • Ryan Schuster
  • 승인 2010.04.01 08:33
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A robot teacher teaching students

Albert Einstein, one of the most recognized and well-known scientists claimed, "Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world." It is a good thing that Albert Einstein is not alive today and a teacher because this way of thinking goes right out the window.  Another great mind, Robert Oxton Bolton, who was a school master and a famous dramatist stated, "A belief is not merely an idea the mind possesses. It is an idea that possesses the mind."  If he was a school master today, he would need to find a new profession.

Why would they need to find new careers Due to the fact that researchers have found that English teaching robots helped raise interest in the language and boosted the confidence of students. On top of that, according to the Korea Times, "During the second decade of the new millennium, robots are expected to replace English-speaking teachers here in Korea."  In other words by 2018, the 25,000 estimated English teachers here on the peninsula will be out of work. If you are planning to come here to be an English teacher, you might as well just pack it in and find a new line of work.

In the 1960's, robots were mainly used for automotive manufacturing and tool manufacturing, which has spanned over approximately 40 years. Today, robots have moved into the mainstream as vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, autonomous vehicles, tour guides, pets and even teachers.  Moreover, robots will or can do everything for you.  For instance: cooking, cleaning, working, and getting you a drink. This all may sound very lavishing, but how will you feel if you get replaced by a robot

Saya, the human-like teaching robot from Japan

Using robots as teachers is not new news. In fact, Japan developed the world's first robot teacher, Saya, which was in development for 15 years. In Korea, English teaching robots were sent to three provincial schools for eight weeks. The students and government officials were very pleased and delighted with the English teaching robots. However, it is unclear how English teaching robots will improve English education or why parents would not want to have an actual English speaking instructor. Therefore, I can agree with English teaching robots being used as teaching aides, but it sounds too farfetched to completely replace all teachers.

It is farfetched because a human will act out of his or her own accord, but a robot is only designed to execute certain actions. Therefore, English teaching robots will not work at this time. First, a teacher needs to be able to read a student's body language, especially in the lower grades where accidents are prone to happen. Second, sad as it might be, sometimes the only interaction a student gets is with an adult at school. Third, a teacher needs to be able to tell when a student feels sick. Fourth, a teacher needs to reassure a student that everyone makes mistakes and it is perfectly normal to make mistakes. All-in-all genuine praise is important for a student's self esteem - it makes them feel good about themselves and it ultimately motivates them to learn better.

In Korea's high-tech utopia, at what cost will robots transcend the landscape and classroom The cost is the genuine praise for a student; the imagination encircles the world and an idea that possesses the mind.  Lucy Maud Montgomery said, "For we pay a price for everything we get or take in this world; and although ambitions are well worth having, they are not to be cheaply won."  Thus, as a modernistic society we all are beginning to shape a better tomorrow in which robots will work amongst us. How long before they cast us aside once they realize their full potential

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