ABOUT THE SUMMIT
Our vision is a revolutionized language learning and edtech industry which empowers people and organizations to thrive.
Language Summit Aim #1:
Bring together a segmented industry to create a thriving edtech and language learning community.
Language Summit Aim #2:
Empower a worldwide community by sharing knowledge to facilitate innovation.
Language Summit Aim #3:
Implement new technologies to improve student learning outcomes.
In 2018, the government of Costa Rica launched the Alliance for Bilingualism—an initiative to teach all of their youth to speak English. At the same time, the edtech company Alegra Learning was hard at work building their AI-pronunciation program to teach English as a foreign language to children.
To expand their community of users, Alegra Learning strategically reached out to governments and businesses around the world, and in March 2019 they met the leader of Costa Rica’s Bilingualism program through a mutual connection. From that connection, they were able to develop a partnership that seemed to perfectly meet both of their organizations’ needs.
“Alegra Learning appeared in the right moment” and “fit perfectly” (Manuel Rojas-Mata, National Coordinator of the Alliance for Bilingualism).
When a pandemic struck this year, Costa Rica’s private schools continued to use Alegra Learning’s program at home, and the public schools were able to quickly follow suit. This enormous success was fueled by teachers who, in a heroic effort, took the initiative to reach out to families and signed students up for the program one by one. One month later, in August 2020, the number of students climbed from 5,000 to 58,000—and it is still growing.
This is the kind of experience we want everyone to have, made possible by bringing our currently-divided industry together in one place. Whether your objective is to strengthen partnerships—like Costa Rica and Alegra Learning will be doing—or to find new ones, we envision thousands of organizations around the world experiencing similar successes by coming together online at the Language Summit.
THE CURRENT LANDSCAPE
Language learning, especially English-language learning, creates “a passport to a new life” (Benjamin Dent, Co- Founder at Hallo). We, as leaders and educators in the industry, have the responsibility to endorse these passports to make economic opportunities accessible to everyone.
Not only does the process of learning a new language teach students to value other people and cultures, but knowing multiple languages opens up worlds of social, economic and professional opportunity—even in developed countries.
Furthermore, language learning can have a monumental impact in poverty-stricken communities. To name only one example, speaking English in India “increase[s] the earning potential of men by 34% and women by 22%” (Rising Star Outreach, 2020).
THE COMMUNITY IN A SNAPSHOT:
Edtech—education technology; hardware and software designed to enhance learning in all settings and improve student learning outcomes.
Language learning—teaching and learning any second or foreign language.
Industry—the combined language learning and edtech industries; all contributors, individuals and organizations involved in designing, providing, distributing, and funding these services.
It is no wonder that a robust language-learning industry has sprouted around the globe. Powering over five million jobs in the United States alone (Data USA), the global English language learning market valued at $33.5 billion USD in 2018 and was projected to grow at a compounded annual rate of 7.1% (Adroit Market Research).
However, even with the incredible growth, the problem we keep facing is that most language learning pedagogy is archaic and does not build ability nor confidence in fluency. This means that many institutions will continue to struggle and fall behind.
As an English teacher in Japan put it, “When I taught at [English conversation schools], I had students in their teens who had been going to [conversation] classes weekly for ten years, and yet could hardly string a sentence together. The question to ask is what teaching methods and structures have lead to such terrible outcomes” (Charlie Moritz, Founder of Live Work Play Japan, 2020).
On top of that, language-learning resources can often be too expensive, too inaccessible, or even totally inappropriate for a learner’s age or level of proficiency. In addition, a disturbing percentage of educators receive too few benefits and too little pay for their critical services—not to mention the additional language-learning challenges faced by specific groups that may need it the most, such as the disabled, the poverty-stricken, or the displaced (i.e. refugees).
We know we can do better. Many organizations have already proven it, including Costa Rica and Alegra Learning. The Language Summit 2021, created by an urgent need to integrate more technology into the language learning industry, strives to be a catalyst to drive this change.
“We are operating in the massive $60 billion [USD] global language learning market” (Bernhard Niesner, CEO of Busuu, 2020).
The field we are playing in is massive, with a market cap of $60 billion (USD) that continues to grow as education moves online. We know that effectively implementing technology improves foreign-language–learning outcomes (Shadiev and Yang). Therefore; the benefits of leveraging technology make collaboration more than a competitive edge—they make it decisive.
“Institutions that fail to prepare for these shifts and respond to the dramatically increased competition among online offerings risk losing relevance and overall market share. Those that adapt will discover huge untapped opportunities for growth, new platforms for innovation, and the potential to transform how future generations of students learn” (Boston Consulting Group, 2014).
It is significant to realize that BCG, as well as others, have already implored educators to adapt to the online market and new technologies 6+ years ago—long before COVID-19 shoved us all online.
And now—due to COVID-19—the benefits and drawbacks of virtual education are more starkly apparent than ever, and there is no going back. COVID-19 has merely propelled us faster in the direction that the market was already heading—namely that of integrating edtech and new learning methodologies—whether we accept it or not. So now, the question to ask ourselves is: Are we ready to adapt and innovate so we can thrive—let alone survive?
In order to thrive, technology and humans both need to play a central role. Technology cannot replace the essential functions of a traditional teacher. However, we also cannot ignore that edtech is now an essential tool in the formal learning process— both in the classroom and at home.
Through the Language Summit, we encourage teachers in traditional and non-traditional settings to continue to (or start to) learn how to integrate beneficial technologies into their curriculums and classrooms. These experiences will add to and accelerate the research behind the effectiveness of edtech.
Likewise, we encourage edtech and tech companies alike to find mutually-beneficial ways they can provide their products and services to all teachers and organizations. This can create a synergy that will propel the industry forward.
In summary, developing strategies that focus on both the human and edtech aspects of education will transform the experiences that organizations are capable of delivering—especially in challenging times.
We do not have to develop these strategies on our own. By coming together each year at the Language Summit and sharing our successes and failures, we can create a community to help us find the right strategies to thrive. More organizations will be able to remain relevant and find untapped opportunities as the industry continues to rapidly expand. This is in essence our vision for the Language Summit.
A revolutionized language learning and edtech industry which empowers people and organizations to thrive.
By “revolutionized,” we mean fundamentally reimagined and innovated. A critical step in this process is challenging outdated frameworks, technologies, and pedagogies to give room to promising and innovative solutions. Only with such fundamental changes will the industry empower people and organizations to thrive. Each person plays an important role in this transformation.
Successfully equip people and organizations throughout the global industry with the appro- priate technology, resources and knowledge to co-create the future of language learning.
Thomas Edison was told he was “too stupid to learn anything,” and he was seen as unproductive in some of his jobs. He went on to invent the light bulb. Now, he is seen as one of the most influential and successful people in the world.
People from even the least-likely of places have changed the world, and we stand on their shoulders. What these stories teach us is that everyone can make a positive impact if given the opportunity.
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison
We know that if we bring people together in meaningful ways, we can create real connections and innovations that will contribute to the industry’s continuous growth and improvement. We hope you will choose to be a part of this global effort through the Language Summit.
VALUE OF THE SUMMIT
LIVE KEYNOTES AND PANELS
At the Language Summit 2021, draw inspiration and wisdom from global leaders in edtech and language learning as they present exclusive TED-style talks. Discover applications of the latest industry research and learn from powerful panel discussions about products, choosing new technology and R&D.
BREAKOUTS AND NETWORKING
Engage in strategy- and tactic-driven discussions and in professional development workshops. Meaningfully network 1-on-1 and in groups through InEvent—an online event platform more powerful than Zoom— to facilitate critical conversations, share relevant experiences, and identify partnerships that move the needle for your organization.
We have categorized the value of the Summit into 3 main tracks (themes) which each attendee can choose from: (1) professional development, (2) products and technology and (3) research. From keynotes and breakouts to networking, each activity at the Summit will have value that correlates with at least one of these 3 tracks. Our objective is to tailor the experience for each person and deliver relevant value throughout the Summit. We want everyone to leave with inspired insights and actionable takeaways to effect change in their respective roles and communities. The end goal is to improve student learning outcomes and help organizations and professionals thrive.
The Language Summit will facilitate conversation centered on the challenges and opportunities we are facing in the industry in a way that enables innovative collaboration.
The Language Summit is a virtual conference that uses state-of-the-art technology to unite people and organizations from around the globe. The people who represent the Summit include those who teach foreign languages, direct linguistic education programs, oversee university admissions, use foreign languages in their professional work and provide technology to improve foreign language learning.
So far, we already have teachers, administrators, and leaders in the edtech and education industries that will be attending from India, Algeria, the Philippines, Bermuda, the U.S., Brazil, Costa Rica, and Canada. We are expecting a global turnout.
The common sentiment we have observed for the Language Summit is extremely positive. We believe the Summit can ignite change due to the following factors:
1. Organizations which effectively connect educators with edtech are seeing conference turnouts of more than 5 times the amount than that of traditional language-education conferences. The Bett Show and TESOL are key examples.
2. We aim to create more than a conference. Rather, we aim to create a thriving community which long-standing institutions can learn from and expand on. This is how we co-create the future.
3. Virtual conferences remove cost and attendance barriers, yet they still facilitate meaningful connections. They encourage participation from all around the world. Our number-one priority is creating value through a singular experience.
These are some of the first steps for systematic change and innovation. Everybody is needed to redefine the present and future of language learning.
Create that promote networking, learning, discussion, problem-solving, business partnerships, a spirit of giving, and long-lasting collaborations.
We are keeping the days short so you have more time to network outside of the Summit’s regular hours, keep up on any personal work and stay engaged throughout the Summit.
From researching and attending other online education and technology conferences, we are confident we can deliver enormous value at the Language Summit.
2021 THEME: FORGING CONNECTIONS
Like the metal in a blacksmith’s shop, to forge a connection is to make and maintain a connection that is stronger for its unique heat and pressure. The current state of the industry is certainly providing the heat and pressure, but how do we mold it into something useful?
We started the Language Summit because we saw a big opportunity to unite and empower a segmented industry. It is clear that the global language-learning, education and edtech industries are fragmented. We believe that, if given the opportunity and the means, we can create a thriving community built on mutual value and resources.
At the Language Summit 2021, there will be many meaningful opportunities to network online. We aim for every participant to find and create lasting partnerships that can lead to success for their organizations and for themselves.
The Language Summit 2021 aims to provide a forge to create valuable and long-lasting collaborations for everyone globally that shares this same vision: a revolutionized language learning and edtech industry which empowers people and organizations to thrive.
Rising Star Outreach is a nonprofit that lifts leprosy colonies out of poverty. By integrating technology and employing some of the best education practices, they are healing the sick, lifting a warped stigma, and educating the next generation of leaders in India.
Rising Star Outreach embodies all that we stand for: uniting our resources to create a better tomorrow. We are honored to donate a portion of all proceeds from the Language Summit 2021, including purchased tickets and sponsorships, to Rising Star Outreach. Thank you for making a difference.
Are you ready to hop on board? We hope that the Summit will help you identify partnerships that will accelerate change and growth in the industry. In the end, our hope is that you leave the Summit (1) confident to tackle the challenges you currently face, (2) equipped with the best resources to successfully innovate, and (3) strengthened by meaningful collaborations in a supportive community. Let’s co-create the future of language learning!
WHO WE ARE
Standing out as an emerging leader in the language-learning space, Hallo is the first live-streaming platform for language-learning that leverages social learning and cultural immersion to help people become fluent.
Launched by the entrepreneurial dynamic duo Joon Beh and Benjamin Dent, Hallo is a rocket ship fueled by a powerful vision with its roots in social impact. “Because of my immigrant background, I’ve experienced and lived through the problem that Hallo is trying to solve for many years. . . . Language learners spend most of their time in textbooks, but the most effective way to learn is by practicing and speaking with real people 24/7.” (Joon Beh, CEO of Hallo)
Many of Hallo’s students find close friendships through its community—and those friendships inspire them to keep learning and growing. Anyone can join live classes from native speakers 24/7, video chat with other language learners through Hallo’s worldwide community of over 900,000 students and book private lessons with teachers. With its recent round of funding, Hallo is excited to continue to build a powerful platform and partner network to become the go-to app for becoming fluent in any language.