Learn with bite-sized, memorable lessons and scientifically-proven algorithms that are the perfect fit for your busy lifestyle!
Panda is a mobile app for:
- motivation-rich, time-poor English speakers learning a second language
- self-learners in developing countries learning English
In Panda, you will:
- learn through interactive, tweet-length lessons optimized for your smartphone
- review efficiently using scientifically-proven spaced-repetition algorithms
- feed and grow your own panda by learning every day
Rather than building yet another one-size-fits-all, get-fluent-quick methodology, we’re building a product perfectly adapted for a single platform (mobile) and a particular type of learner (busy self-learner).
We also believe that we must approach each language we teach from scratch, asking ourselves what is the very best way to introduce the language to somebody who is starting from absolutely zero.
We’ve all been there. Even after sweating over self-study books, flipping through hundreds of flashcards, and listening to hours of podcasts, you still can’t quite say what you want to say, in the way you want to say it.
What’s even more frustrating is when you know that you once learned a particular expression, word, or turn of phrase that would be perfect for a particular situation, but at the critical moment, it escapes you.
What if your textbook could adapt to your learning needs, only showing you the information that’s appropriate for your level? Wouldn’t it be useful if your textbook periodically reminded you of the content that you didn’t quite ‘get’ first time round? How good would it be to maximise the efficiency of each and every study session?
An advanced spaced repetition algorithm
You can get a good deal from rehearsal,
If it just has the proper dispersal.
You would just be an ass,
To do it en masse,
Your remembering would turn out much worsal.—Ulrich Neisser
Spaced repetition (SRS) is one of many bits of science that Panda uses to make learning as effortless as possible.
Let’s compare two ways of learning:
- massed repetition is when you review the same information several times in a short space of time
- spaced repetition is when you review the same information several times, but the repetitions are spaced out
As it turns out, spaced repetition leads to significantly better learning than massed repetition:
Many polyglots make use of this finding, but traditional SRS software is complex, difficult to set up, and ill-adapted for learning entire grammar points rather than just individual vocab items or Chinese characters.
We’ve built on years of experience teaching languages to self-learners to develop a new teaching method that combines scientifically-proven spaced repetition algorithms with a user-friendly design and hand-crafted content perfectly optimized for your busy lifestyle.
The language is presented in interactive, tweet-length lessons that make use of spaced repetition and elegantly combine study & review. Easy to learn from, and perfectly suited for a quick catch-up review when the time is right.
With Panda, you can finally forget about forgetting!
A free English Panda for developing countries
At each funding goal, we will launch not only content for several foreign languages, but also free English learning apps for developing countries!
In developing countries, learning the English language can be life-changing, but children and adults alike encounter three major problems:
- Internet is not widely available, or particularly reliable, often accessible only in larger cities which can be miles away from their place of residence
- Tutors and other learning resources are often insufficient, prohibitively expensive, and here again only accessible in larger cities
- A busy lifestyle between long working hours and family commitments can make it difficult to learn & review regularly, consistently, and in long enough intervals
Panda English answers all three of these considerations.
First, access to internet connection is only required to install the base application and download learning content.
Second, the Panda course is specifically designed with self-learners in mind. Sentences have native pronunciation audio, and grammar is explained in such a way as not to require outside pedagogical guidance.
Finally, Panda’s bite-sized lessons are perfectly suited for a quick catch-up review when the time is right—whether you’re grazing sheep in the country, or standing in a long queue in the city hall.
We will not charge our users in developing countries a fee for using our application, but rather fund its development with revenues from our for-profit sister applications, with additional support from NGOs and local governments who see the value in making quality foreign-language education available universally.
We will launch the first Panda app with Japanese, Mandarin and Korean courses going up to at least intermediate level.
Our team has over 5 years of experience working on award-winning educational products for learners of Asian languages. We’re super confident that our proprietary algorithms and methodology provide an ideal basis for teaching these three languages.
We will also launch an English Panda in Mongolian, providing free language education to over half a million people with very limited access to learning resources, in the fastest growing economy in the world.
Our second stretch goal consists of Arabic, Farsi and French — three languages that will get you by across the Muslim world.
Our team has over 7 years of experience teaching French, and we have extensive contacts in the Middle East who will help us make the best apps for Arabic and Farsi on the market.
We will also release a free English Panda in Farsi, reaching millions of learners in the Middle East without ready access to language classes.
Our fourth stretch goal includes Spanish, German and Italian — three essential business languages spoken across the globe.
We will also release a free English Panda in Spanish, reaching millions of learners in Latin America without ready access to internet or language classes.
Our fifth and last stretch goal is Cantonese, world’s fifth most spoken language, and the official language of Hong Kong.
We will also release a free English Panda in Mandarin, reaching hundreds of millions of learners across mainland China and beyond.
Language lessons & editing: We already started working on Panda courses for a few of the languages and initial feedback has been most encouraging. We now need to scale our content creation team to author more lessons, and make sure to catch all typos and mistakes before launch.
Pronunciation audio: We’re in touch with a team of excellent voice over talent, from professional singers to radio hosts, who’ve already recorded hours of vocabulary audio for use at LinguaLift. We will record native pronunciation audio for every single word and sentence in the Panda app, and need to fund its production and editing.
User experience design: We’re obsessed with interface design that’s not just functional, but also beautiful and a pleasure to use. We’ll make sure to spend sufficient resources on UI design, usability testing and focus groups to make the app something you’ll look forward to use every day.
App testing and development: We hate sluggish, buggy, badly designed apps as much as you do. Panda will be as fluid as butter and perfectly adapted for each and every platform.
EduLift is a small but successful ‘edutech’ startup founded by two internationally-minded Harvard University and University of Oxford students who are passionate about language learning, but unsatisfied with any method on the market.
In the last four years, while pursuing our undergraduate studies, we launched several award-winning educational games and online communities (https://lingualift.com/) with a combined userbase of almost 100,000 students, and a language learning blog with over 50,000 readers every month. We’ve received no outside funding, and are entirely self-sustained.
We are now ready for a new chapter. Ready to build on our years of experience in language learning innovation to make a lasting impact on regions where people would benefit from learning a second language the most.
- Timur Seyfi for the dedication and understanding he showed throughout the realisation of the video
- Samaneh, Oyunaa, Erik, Ruddy and everyone else helping us get English Panda to developing countries around the world
- Satoko and all other professors and researchers at Harvard, Oxford, 関学 and 九大 who have helped us improve the way languages are taught online
...and all the people that we forgot to mention due to our lack of sleep, we apologise!