About Us

Who we are, and how we help.


Who we are
Who we are

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The mission of Woodpecker Learning is to help teachers and students engage with content designed for native speakers.

We want to help teachers build lesson plans designed around the latest and most interesting content on the internet. We want to help language students move on from their textbooks to content designed for native speakers. We want international students and foreign professionals, studying in say English, to be able to fully understand their course materials. And we want everyone with an interest in a foreign language and culture to be able to immerse themselves in its media and entertainment.

Woodpecker Watch enables teachers and students to fully engage with video content originally intended for native speakers. We are adding features that will handle text and audio content.

We started with English and Chinese and then added Japanese, Vietnamese, Spanish, French, German and Portuguese. Russian is coming soon. We won't stop adding languages until we have exhausted the supply of good dictionaries.

Those dictionaries, which we supply free to the user, have been published with Creative Commons licences. We won’t ever charge you for open-source dictionaries.

We offer access to a vast amount of free content and the functionality for language learners to understand it, making the free version of our product a great resource for teachers and their students. In the future we will offer additional premium features within the app, commercial dictionaries and premium content, all designed to help you learn even faster.

We chose to name our company after the woodpecker since it is persistent, as a language learner must be, tapping away at tree trunks, just like our users tap on a screen to learn, until they achieve their goal. We are based in Taiwan where there are three species of woodpeckers.

 

 



Our Co-Founders

Peter Sutton

Co-Founder and CEO

Peter’s story


After working in Auckland, Jakarta, Singapore and Hong Kong, Peter moved to Taipei where he worked in an office where nearly everyone spoke good English but many documents were only in Chinese. With languages, you are only good at what you practice, and in this environment, his reading of Chinese characters improved much faster than his spoken Mandarin.

To improve his listening ability, he was told to watch movies and TV, but that didn’t really help because the dialogue was too fast, and pausing and replaying content was cumbersome. It was frustrating that there was no technical solution for subtitles in the same way that there was for other types of text documents. Peter decided that if he needed this kind of help for his language studies then so did millions of others.

 

 

Gijs Slijpen

Co-Founder and Head of Engineering

Gijs' story


Gijs is a native speaker of Dutch and fluent in English, German and Mandarin. His interest in Chinese started when he was in Taipei in 2007 for a six-month internship at an engineering company. When he got back to Europe he started studying Chinese in Germany. While studying for his Master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence, he decided to write his final thesis in Taiwan, so as to study engineering and Chinese at the same time.

The experience gained while learning three second languages convinced him of the benefits to language learners of being able to engage with content designed for native speakers. In this project he knew he could combine his background in electronics and software engineering with his experience in language learning and in May 2015 Woodpecker Learning was born.

 

 



Our Advisors



Mark Hsu

20+ years in EduTech Ventures & Startups.

General Partner at Pinehurst Advisors


Klaus Neubeck

20+ years in Technology & Education.

General Manager Asia at ASYS Automatic Systems


Handol Kim

15+ years in Software Development & Distribution.

Co-founder & CEO at Reqvu Inc


John Williamson

20+ years in IT & Startups.

CPO & Founder at
East London Ventures


Michael Clendenin

20+ years in technology in Asia.

CEO & Founder of
RedTech Advisors


Our Advisors



Mark Hsu

20+ years in EduTech Ventures & Startups.

General Partner at Pinehurst Advisors


Klaus Neubeck

20+ years in Technology & Education.

General Manager Asia at ASYS Automatic Systems


Handol Kim

15+ years in Software Development & Distribution.

Co-founder & CEO at Reqvu Inc


John Williamson

20+ years in IT & Startups.

CPO & Founder at
East London Ventures


Michael Clendenin

20+ years in technology in Asia.

CEO & Founder of
RedTech Advisors






Try out Woodpecker Watch
Download for free!




Need Help?

Woodpecker Watch is free to download and use, coming with thousands of videos to learn with.

Our FAQ shows you how to get the most out of Woodpecker Watch. If there are any questions we have missed, please email us.





Try out Woodpecker Watch
Download for free!

Woodpecker Watch is free to download and use, coming with thousands of videos to learn with.

appstorelogo  googlestore








Need Help?

Our FAQ shows you how to get the most out of Woodpecker Watch. If there are any questions we have missed, please email us.






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