• Apr 15, 2019

AI-Driven Learning Product Co-Developed by Laureate Education and Alelo Is Finalist for British Council Digital Innovation Award

Cloud-based learning platform in use in 25 countries to develop spoken English skills

Laureate International Universities and Alelo announced that their Laureate English course is a finalist for the British Council’s ELTons Award for Digital Innovation in English Language Teaching. Laureate English was selected from among 150 award entries from 45 countries. The award winner will be announced in London in June.

Laureate English is a new kind of learning experience for English language learners (ELLs). Artificial intelligence (AI) technology helps learners improve their speaking skills and helps teachers teach more effectively. Think of it as a kind of teacher’s aide.

Learners develop their verbal communication skills through realistic conversations with simulated native English speakers. These simulations are aligned with Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) can-do statements. Laureate English runs on Alelo’s Enskill cloud-based platform. Enskill’s combination of automated assessment, practice, and personalized feedback helps learners achieve mastery quickly and maintain it over time.

Other online language-learning solutions focus on reading and listening skills without giving learners the opportunity to practice their conversational skills, leaving them poorly prepared to communicate in English in college or the workplace. Learners in many countries have few opportunities to practice their English with native speakers. As higher education programs continue to move online, students who struggle with spoken English increasingly risk being left behind.

Gordon Lewis, vice president of Laureate Language, explains, “Teaching English is a key piece of our global mission. Doing this effectively online is very difficult, so we are always looking for innovative solutions that will let us significantly improve how we teach spoken English to tens of thousands of students worldwide. We chose Alelo to work with us because they offer both a leading-edge approach and a proven track record.”

Dr. Lewis Johnson, CEO of Alelo, adds, “Laureate Education’s support for innovation and global reach has provided us with enormous momentum on our way to becoming the best global solution for learning communication skills.”

Instructors using Laureate English have commented as follows:

‘Enskill simulation is a great education tool that helps students practice speaking in real-life situations.’

‘Alelo was pretty fun and groundbreaking. We have never seen such a tool and it has great potential to help students learn English. Innovation is the key today!’

‘I think this is awesome, I see the future.’


Alelo creates learning solutions that help people acquire new skills and apply them when it counts, changing the way people communicate. The company has been delivering game-based solutions for learning communication skills using virtual role-play technology since 2003 when it spun out as a DARPA-funded research project from the University of Southern California. Alelo applies its virtual role-play to language and culture learning, and workplace competencies and interpersonal skills.


Laureate Education, Inc. is the largest global network of degree-granting higher education institutions, with more than one million students enrolled across more than 70 institutions in 25 countries at campuses and online. Laureate offers high-quality, career-oriented undergraduate, graduate and specialized degree programs in a wide range of academic disciplines including architecture, business, design, education, engineering, health sciences, medicine, law, and hospitality management. Laureate believes society is best served when its students, professors and employees use their collective skills and experiences to create positive and enduring change. This commitment is expressed through the company’s philosophy of being ‘Here for Good’ and is represented by its status as a certified B Corporation® and conversion in 2015 to a U.S. Public Benefit Corporation, a new class of corporation committed to creating a positive impact on society.