Welcome to an exclusive interview with Seth Killian, the driving force behind Lingco. In this discussion, Seth shares the story of Lingco’s creation and how it’s transforming the language learning experience. Drawing from his own struggles with language learning, Seth used his experiences to develop Lingco, providing instructors with powerful tools to enhance language education. His personal journey adds a compelling layer to the platform’s story. Join us for a deep dive into the world of Lingco and the innovation it brings to language education.
What inspired the creation of Lingco Language Labs?
I wasn’t a great language learner in high school. I took three years of French, but I wasn’t able to speak it. It didn’t seem applicable to me, and memorizing a bunch of irregular verb endings and endless vocabulary lists didn’t resonate with me.
After high school, as a student at Michigan University, I wanted to go to France for the study abroad program, and it completely changed my perspective on the value of language and personalized learning as I jumped from my beginner level to advanced after my immersion experience. Upon my return, I noticed a deficiency in most language learning apps available today. They often overlook the importance of tailoring the learning experience to the individual’s level, as well as the crucial role of cultural immersion. Drawing from my background as a Computer Science major, I was inspired by how various apps employ personalized algorithms to simplify users’ lives. This realization motivated me to envision a similar approach but applied to language classrooms. My ultimate goal is to create an innovative language learning platform that factors in the student’s proficiency level and incorporates cultural immersion to enhance the learning experience. I believe this will make language learning more engaging, effective, and enjoyable for learners worldwide.
We know that you are an experienced traveler. How has your extensive travel and cultural interactions shaped your perspective on the significance of language in today’s world?
I just got back from my transformative year-long journey around the world, and I can confidently say that my interactions with diverse cultures have profoundly shaped my worldview, underscoring the significance of language education. While exploring captivating destinations in Europe and South America, I had the privilege of listening to awe-inspiring stories that showcased the richness of human experiences across the globe. This eye-opening experience made me acutely aware of the pivotal role language plays in comprehending perspectives beyond our own.
This realization ignited a strong motivation within me to provide students with high-quality educational materials. I firmly believe that our learning resources should mirror the fascinating diversity of our world and celebrate the uniqueness of each culture. By fostering meaningful interactions between cultures, we unlock new horizons and boundless opportunities for personal and intellectual growth.
I am now driven by the conviction that language education should not be merely about mastering vocabulary and grammar but about fostering genuine curiosity and appreciation for the world’s cultural tapestry. My aspiration is to create educational materials that capture the essence of our intriguing world, inspiring students to engage with languages and cultures with a sense of wonder and open-mindedness. Together, we can bridge the gaps between cultures and build a more interconnected, empathetic global community.
How do you envision the impact of Lingco on the larger world?
First and foremost, I want to give students new opportunities that come with learning about new cultures and new languages, as it motivates them to step out of their comfort zone. Traveling abroad, meeting new people, hearing new stories — those experiences not only become best memories, but also give opportunities that international cooperation entails.
Finally, our world now is more interconnected than ever before. We have all sorts of fantastic tools, translators and language apps that can help you with superficial communication. However, now it is crucial to learn about history, various traditions, and international perspectives as we can’t be isolated from the beauty of other cultures.
What sets Lingco Language Labs apart from other language education companies, and what makes your approach unique?
First, Lingco adapts to a student to create a unique, personalized approach to learning. In the language learning sphere we have yet to see adaptive tools, so Lingco Language Labs has a real opportunity to be the first to bring adaptive language learning to schools.
Further, we consider the importance of teachers in the classroom and we bring tools to empower them, as modern teachers take on a lot of tasks that consume time and do not leave time to differentiate students and create adaptive learning models.
Third, we enable the “I can” method of interacting with vocabulary and relationships between the items being learned to improve retention.
Last but not least, the ability of Lingco to provide insightful knowledge on the world’s cultures makes better global citizens out of students and motivates them to be more prepared for interactions in an interconnected world in a variety of spaces.
What would be the next milestone for Lingco after completion of the program?
As for now, we have gotten into some of the largest school districts of the US and with pilots and sales, validated that Lingco can be effective for both teachers and students. Next, we need to build a robust distribution strategy to go from a handful of districts to the majority of them. Therefore, we’re glad to have worked with the mentors, venture partners, the resources, and the experiences of the LearnLaunch Accelerator Team to build a good strategy with which we can accelerate our growth and reach more people.
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