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February 27, 2010

The robots are coming!

robots.jpgKorea is investing heavily in robot teaching assistants for English classes. As a first step, the robots will be used in 500 preschools in 2011, and 8,000 preschools and kindergartens in 2013. Many are predicting that the robots will replace native English teachers.

The Korea Times reports KIm Shin-hwan of the Hyundai Research Institute saying that '"by around 2015, robots should be able to help teachers in English classes. By 2018, they should be able to teach on their own while communicating with students." He also said: "Before such sophisticated English-speaking robots debut, teaching by native English speakers will be conducted by video-conferencing with teachers in their home countries." He considers that many native English teachers working at English language schools in Korea will lose their jobs because of this trend.

Next stop Japan?

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