My research paper aims to explore the utilization of chatbot as a tool in English language learning. Language acquisition is a fundamental aspect of education, and innovative approaches that effectively support language learning are highly valuable. The initial exposure to chatbot technology came through my sister, who is employed at a university in Taiwan. An engaging workshop on Chat-GPT was conducted at her institution, attracting a substantial number of attendees. Students were enthused by the potential of this tool to address unique challenges and facilitate their research paper writing process.
The concept of using AI technology like Chat-GPT to support one’s learning captured my interest. Through personal experience, I have leveraged Chat-GPT for diverse projects and have been astounded by its capabilities. As an educator, I firmly believe that this AI tool holds significant promise as an aid for both teachers and students.
Background – Chatbot
A chatbot is an artificial intelligence (AI) program that simulates interactive human conversation by using key pre-calculated user phrases and auditory or text-based signals. Chatbots have been utilized in various domains and industries, including marketing, customer service, travel and hospitality, health care, technical assistance, education, and training.
The development of chatbots for English language learning has gained significant attention in recent years due to the increasing demand for convenient and personalized language learning experiences. These chatbots aim to simulate conversations with human-like interactions, providing learners with an opportunity to practice their English skills in a supportive and immersive environment. Some of popular chatbots for English language learning include Duolingo, HelloTalk, Rosetta Stone, ELSA, BBC Learning Englih Chatbot, and ChatGPT.
Most language learning chatbots incorporate natural language processing and machine learning algorithms to provide an interactive and personalized learning experience. They are capable of understanding and responding to user queries, engaging in meaningful conversations, and providing tailored feedback through its sophisticated programming.
Features and Functionalities of Chatbots Used by Language Learners
To support language learners effectively, the chatbot offers various features and functionalities. It can generate prompts and exercises that target specific language skills, such as grammar, vocabulary, or conversational fluency. The chatbot also provides instant feedback on learners’ responses, highlighting areas of improvement and offering suggestions for further practice. Additionally, it offers resources and references to assist learners in their language learning journey.
According to a systematic review of chatbot-supported language learning, chatbots have been used to assist students’ learning of speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. Some of the common uses of chatbots in language education include:
- Conversational Skills: Chatbots can simulate conversations and provide opportunities for ESL learners to practice their speaking and listening skills anytime and anywhere. It can engage in dialogues, provides feedback, helps learners diminish shyness.
- Reading Comprehension: Chatbots can highlight important knowledge and answer learners’ question to help notice and receive assistance with understanding complex passages.
- Grammar and Vocabulary: Chatbots can provide guidance and explanations regarding grammar rules, obtain dictionary definitions and provide sample sentences.
- Writing Practice: Chatbots can be used to write dialogue or produce various kinds of text relating to a topic of interest.
Although chatbots offer many benefits to language learners and are well-received by teachers, there are some limitations, drawbacks and ethical considerations to take into account. As I continue to explore research into this area, I hope to gain more insight into how language teachers can effectively incorporate AI chatbots into their curriculum and pedagogy and what strategies can they use to maximize student engagement and learning outcomes.
Chuah, KM., Kabilan, MK., Samarhan, K. (2021).Teachers’ views on the use of chatbots to support English language teaching in a mobile environment.
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Huang, W., Hew, KF, & Fryer, LK (2021). Chatbots for language learning—Are they really useful? A systematic review of chatbot-supported language learning. J. Comput. Assist. Learn, 11 August.
Kohnke, L., Moorhouse, BL., & Zou, D. (2023). ChatGPT for language teaching and learning. Technology Review. RELC Journal. 1-14.
Rouse, M. What does chatbot mean? Techopedia.
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