It’s been a while since I posted on our blog. Knowing how busy everyone is I think it’s generally much more useful for you to hear from our talented team of teachers and writers. With the release of our new brand and site designs, though, I thought it would be a great opportunity to tell you about where we’re going with Kwiziq and why we’re still passionate about getting there.
I also want to take this chance to thank our learner community, our investors, and friends, for being along with us for the ride. The last three years have been turbulent, to say the least, and while we’ve continued to grow and improve all around, it has not always been an easy ride. The team and I are very grateful for your ongoing support and to say we’re working hard to repay it. I want to specifically mention the many wonderful “super contributors” to our language forum, learners who give their time and knowledge for the benefit of our community. You know who you are, thank you, we appreciate everything you do.
Our new design is one of many projects we have been working on in 2022, all of which are aimed at getting us back on track and serving more learners than ever. Daniela will tell you more about some of the features we’re releasing next in separate blog posts. Looking ahead, however, we have spent this year making lots of changes to our underlying system, let’s call these “plumbing” tasks. This has set us up for a number of major improvements to the Kwiziq user experience, Kwizbot’s scoring and recommendations, and the languages we offer. Kwiziq 2.0 is rolling out in the coming months, we’re going to help more people like you find your fluent!
A catchup on Kwiziq
If you’re already a user of our site you’ll know that Kwiziq is a language learning platform designed to help post-beginners reach fluency in a second language as efficiently as possible. We combine amazing learning material written by our brilliant teachers, with some clever technology, to reduce, and where possible remove, the barriers to language learning. While we have lots of lessons and kwizzes for complete beginners; we’re particularly focussed on the challenges people face on the long, windy, humbling and very personal path to fluency. This is a difficult technical challenge and is at the heart of our mission as a company.
What is our mission?
Our goal is to help as many learners as possible achieve fluency in a second language; so they can have rich relationships with people from different backgrounds; and as a result, positively expand their worldview and that of others.
Why does this drive us?
We think that the more people from different places are able to share their life stories, the better the world will be.
In a time of increasing social fragmentation and polarised opinions; only with rich, shared understanding (even in disagreement); can we build a world that maximises healthy, sustainable prosperity for all; without compromising or neutralising the diversity of cultures and perspectives that make it so wonderful.
Meaningful communication is more than just translation; it necessarily requires the expression and comprehension of nuance and context – a genuine understanding of “where someone is coming from”. The confidence that comes from fluency, combined with an open mind and readiness to listen are all vital to sharing stories.
Where did this all come from?
When Gareth and I started building Kwiziq a decade ago we had both learned multiple languages, mostly to a pretty good level and some to day-to-day fluency. Regardless of the language however we started to notice a pattern, that a) all languages take time to really master, b) after a while it can be difficult to really know where you are on your learning journey and c) as great as many language apps and sites are, it often feels like signing up again inevitably means starting from scratch, and real progress can feel vague at best. So, struggling to find a solution to this we decided to tackle the problem ourselves, after lots of trial and error, and the tireless efforts of our amazing team, Kwiziq is the work in progress you see today.
From day one, Kwiziq has been built by language learners, for language learners. Every member of our team has learned (and often taught) at least one language beyond their native one. Every member of our team has felt embarrassed and discouraged making mistakes and getting a conjugation wrong 10 times in a row. Every member of our team has also experienced the joy of connecting with someone in a foreign language; the feeling that a door hitherto closed has been opened and beyond it lays a new world of possibilities and experiences; the giddy satisfaction of having done something really hard and getting a genuine reward for it. We know what our learners are going through and we build Kwiziq to try and get as many people as possible through that door into a world of new connections.
Language learning plays a vital role in creating a shared vision for the world: establishing shared truths; building empathy between people; fostering creativity that can only come from diversity; providing colour, vibrancy and nuance to otherwise transactional relationships. The world we now live in sorely needs all of these things; Kwiziq is focused on facilitating as much of this as possible.
On the back of the “plumbing tasks” I mentioned above, our aim is to serve a wider group of learners, more effectively, by expanding our selection of languages. We’re working on language 3 (will keep you guessing for now), and we expect to add at least 2 more in 2023 (If you’re one of the thousands of people who have sent in requests, we haven’t forgotten you!).
In addition to that, we’re upgrading our user experience to make it easier for people to follow Kwizbot’s recommendations completely or take more control of their learning (using our metrics and reports to really focus on the areas they need to improve).
Finally, we’re bringing Kwiziq to you wherever you are. Our mobile app is the first of several new places Kwizbot will be making smart recommendations starting in 2023. All of these elements have been a long time coming, we thank you for your patience, and of course your enthusiasm for more languages!
So despite a tricky few years, the team and I at Kwiziq are still laser-focused on helping you find your fluent. Whatever your goals are, and however you learn most effectively, Kwiziq 2.0 will help you get there faster.