SoapBox to Power English Language Assessments for Lingumi

April 25, 2019

Rectangle Circle

Dublin and London, April 25, 2019 – Research shows that learning a new language is easier when you’re young, but until recently very few tools existed to support younger children in language learning outside of a school setting, especially where parents lacked the knowledge to step in and help. Enter Lingumi, the company behind a platform that makes English learning effective and affordable for children aged 2 – 6.

Today, SoapBox Labs, the company whose award-winning speech recognition technology is specifically designed for younger children, is delighted to announce a partnership with Lingumi. Following a successful trial period, SoapBox’s technology is now embedded into the Lingumi app to provide automated pronunciation assessment for tens of thousands of families.

Today’s partnership with SoapBox Labs means we can integrate automated assessments of spoken language into our sophisticated assessment engine, which is a huge step forward in the value we bring to our young learners and their families.

Toby Mather, CEO and Founder, Lingumi

SoapBox Labs’ speech recognition technology was built for young children and is used to power assessment for literacy and language learning products as well as for interactive voice features in toys and home devices. With this partnership, SoapBox’s technology enables the Lingumi app to “listen” as children complete speaking tasks and then assess the child’s pronunciation and fluency. The feedback is immediate, just as it would be from a helpful adult.

Welcoming the Lingumi partnership, SoapBox Labs CEO Dr. Patricia Scanlon said: “The team at SoapBox Labs are big fans of Lingumi’s highly engaging and innovative approach to English language learning for young children, so our partnership with them really represents a meeting of minds and of missions. By integrating the SoapBox API, Lingumi can now assess and track the English speaking progress of thousands of children every day, motivate them to accelerate their learning, and provide feedback to their parents, all in a scalable and cost effective way.”

Toby Mather, CEO and Founder at Lingumi, continued: “At Lingumi we’re developing the first genuinely effective English teaching platform for preschool children, providing a foundation in English for non-English speakers before they reach primary school. Today’s partnership with SoapBox Labs means we can integrate automated assessments of spoken language into our sophisticated assessment engine, which is a huge step forward in the value we bring to our young learners and their families.”

About SoapBox Labs

SoapBox Labs has developed the world’s most accurate speech recognition technology for children. Combining the company’s large and unique children’s speech dataset with know-how on children’s voices and behaviors, our technology leverages deep learning (AI) techniques to build proprietary models and scoring algorithms. SoapBox Labs works with partners in the education, language learning, games, home devices, and accessibility industries. Our API voice-enables their products and services, and delivers an accurate and safe voice interface experience to their young customers. SoapBox Labs technology is fully US COPPA and EU GDPR compliant.

SoapBox Labs was founded in 2013 by Dr. Patricia Scanlon, recognized in December 2018 by Forbes as one of the World’s Top Women in Tech. Dr. Scanlon is an ex-Bell Labs researcher and has almost 20 years’ experience in the area of speech recognition technologies. Dr. Martyn Farrows, COO, has spent over 20 years in the learning technologies field and is an expert in data privacy and protection. In 2019 the SoapBox team has grown to 18 people who between them have 100 years of speech recognition engineering and computational linguistics experience. In March 2019 the company partnered with Microsoft to tackle the global literacy crisis and was honored in Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards in April 2019.

About Lingumi

Lingumi is a pre-school education technology startup based in London and Cardiff, UK. It was founded in 2016 by Oxford University Modern Languages graduate Toby Mather and UCL Computer Science graduate Adit Trivedi.

Their app, Lingumi Kids English, teaches children to speak and understand English from 2 years old using time-capped daily lessons. Children learn by following an interactive curriculum of learning goals that adapt to the child, teaching speaking and listening skills. 

Tens of thousands of families use the Lingumi platform in Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Taiwan, and China.

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