Chinese firm makes learning languages as simple as ABC

Qooco, a global education technology firm, is introducing its Mandarin Chinese and English mobile learning apps in Thailand in a drive to capitalise on the emerging Asian market.

A screenshot of the app offered by China’s Qooco.

The Beijing-based firm uses voice and tone recognition technology to provide digital lessons in spoken Mandarin Chinese and English that help students practise the intricacies of these languages.

Chief executive David Topolewski said his firm will provide lessons for hospitality and language learning for primary school students in Thailand in the first stage.

Users can stream Qooco's lessons directly from Android- and Apple iOS-based mobile phones, tablets and personal computers.

Qooco's audio instructions give students a visualisation of the intonation of their voices so that they can practise using the right tones at the right times.

Compared with conventional learning systems, Qooco's methodology is claimed to help improve students' English fluency by 55% and Mandarin fluency by 85%.

"Users can save learning costs by at least 80%," Mr Topolewski said.

"Our digital system is offering a new way of learning language skills."

Mr Topolewski said communication skills for hotel staff and training courses will become crucial factors for hotels' ratings.

Chinese tourists are the world's biggest-spending travellers, spending US$102 billion last year, a 41% increase from 2011.

About 2.7 million Chinese travellers visited Thailand last year, bringing in billions of dollars to the tourism sector.

Service staff speaking Mandarin have a better chance to connect with this group at a deeper level, giving more opportunities to upsell and differentiate themselves from rivals.

Mr Topolewski said Qooco plans to provide hospitality learning apps directly for individuals by June.

The mobile learning market in Asia is booming thanks to the growing digital generation that is moving away from conventional lectures and tutorial-based training, he said.

Mobile learning revenue in Asia is expected to reach $6.8 billion in 2017, up from $2.6 billion last year.

About the author

Writer: Suchit Leesa-nguansuk
Position: Senior Reporter