Innovating in language education

July 16, 2023 - 09:41
Lê Đình Lực's Linearthinking introduces a more effective method in language learning that encourages the creation of mind maps, simplification of concepts, and contextual application.

From a determined learner to an innovative entrepreneur, Lê Đình Lực is the man behind DOL English and the groundbreaking Linearthinking method. Trương Khánh Linh speaks with him about his journey, insights on the future of language education, and the transformative impact of technology.

Lê Đình Lực, CEO and founder of DOL English. Photo courtesy of Lê Đình Lực

Inner Sanctum: Could you say a little bit about your background and how it has influenced your journey as an entrepreneur in the education sector?

I was born and raised in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai, and later moved to Hồ Chí Minh City after being admitted to the High School for the Gifted - a prestigious high school in the city.

As a person with a strong inclination towards maths and science, I faced significant challenges when learning English, especially in listening and speaking. I remembered distinctively my first English test at that school, I only got a three.

Driven by determination, I devoted eight hours a day to mastering English, even sacrificing sleep. Through this tireless pursuit, I gradually uncovered an effective approach to learning English, employing the principles of mathematical thinking.

Inspired by this breakthrough, I initiated a tutoring class and witnessed its remarkable impact on students. In that pivotal moment, it felt as if the stars had aligned, and it ignited the inception of DOL English.

Inner Sanctum: Can you share the inspiration behind the development of your linear thinking method for English learning?

To put it simply, my method involves three essential elements: studying the influence of one’s first language on the second language, specifically on Vietnamese learners when learning English. The other two components involve leveraging the power of super memory techniques and employing mathematical logical thinking to enhance English language skills.

Rather than relying solely on memorising grammar formulas and using mnemonic tricks, Linearthinking introduces a more effective method that encourages the creation of mind maps, simplification of concepts, and contextual application.

Inner Sanctum: How do you envision the future of English learning and the role of technology in revolutionising language education?

Personally, I believe that technology in general, ChatGPT and other AI-powered applications, will reshape the educational landscape.

Looking at the positive aspects, I believe ChatGPT brings more benefits than drawbacks to the field of education. Learners now have a virtual personal assistant where they can ask questions and receive effective knowledge support, as teachers cannot be available 24/7.

From the perspective of educators, ChatGPT can assist teachers in creating materials, developing lesson plans, providing feedback, and grading assignments. This allows teachers to have more time to invest in the development of teaching methods.

However, it's important to note that ChatGPT and AI, in general, often replicate and follow what humans have already done through programming and training. They have yet to create entirely new concepts. In other words, the potential for human creativity and thinking is still immense.

The question is whether we, as a whole and especially the younger generation, are willing to put in the effort to engage in critical thinking, self-education, and continuous self-improvement.

For me, super AIs like present opportunities. Only those who are resistant to change or rely solely on hard work without applying the right mindset and methods should worry in the face of this rapidly developing AI era.

Lê Đình Lực and DOL’s team. Photo courtesy of Lê Đình Lực

Inner Sanctum: What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking to make a difference in the education sector?

In my opinion, the key advice would be to focus on internal development rather than seeking rapid expansion. At DOL, we prioritise pedagogical skills over mere high scores for our teachers. Our selection process is rigorous, and we provide two months of intensive 1-1 training to ensure their readiness.

I firmly believe that if we deliver a truly valuable product, success will naturally follow. By investing in developing our human resources and establishing a strong foundation, we will attract students who are genuinely interested in what we offer.

Inner Sanctum: What is your future plan for your company?

I'm thrilled to share that I have an exciting plan in the works. Within a short timeframe, I aim to introduce a specialised IELTS programme tailored for secondary school students, set to launch in October 2023.

This programme promises to deliver exceptional value and address the specific needs of parents with children in the secondary education phase. But that's not all. Our grand vision extends even further. We aspire to launch a cutting-edge global online learning platform, taking DOL English and the revolutionary Linearthinking method to students worldwide. VNS