Google invests in app to prep students for TOEFL
The future of TOEFL preparation. Source: Alejandro Escamilla on Unsplash

Preparing for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) can be tough for non-native speakers planning to enroll in English-speaking universities. Not everyone can afford a private tutor or to go for lessons, and the sheer amount of information on the Internet can be daunting.

Enter Edwin, an app by a San Francisco-based edtech company to help students learn English for standardized tests like the TOEFL. It will be part of the early-stage startups that Google announced it will invest in to make Google Assistant better.

“We’re welcoming companies across a diverse range of fields, including startups that are developing technologies that broaden the Assistant’s set of features,” said Google’s vice president for corporate development Sanjay Kapoor, as reported by Economic Times.

Google engineers, product managers and design experts with advise the startups, share technical guidance and give feedback on their products.

In a blog post, Edwin wrote: “We are very happy to have Google as an investor and a technology partner in our mission to help over 800 million EFL students succeed at work and in life.”

“In the future, Edwin’s students will be able to practice speaking with Google Assistant. This will also make Edwin widely available on smartphones and Google Home devices, bringing our education technology closer to millions of people around the world.”

Edwin’s website describes the app as a form of personalised learning using a combination of “advance artificial intelligence and professional English tutors”, incorporating the latest advances in speech technologies and Natural Language Understanding (NLU).

Its “Tactics and Practice” intensive course preps TOEFL candidates for reading, writing, listening, and speaking. It also has vocabulary improvement tools as well as practice tests with scoring and explanations of all test answers.

Liked this? Then you’ll love these…

How edtech is bridging education inequalities

Role of edtech in future-proofing education