Artificial intelligence (AI) has been changing the way we live and interact with technology, recently ChatGPT, an AI writing algorithm developed by OpenAI has been taking the internet by storm.
A knock-on effect of AI development has also been the change in the way we learn and teach languages.
English as a second language is one of the most popularly studied and sought-after language skills in the world, and AI systems have been designed to help non-native speakers achieve mastery of the language.
In this blog post, we’ll explore how these AI systems can affect how students of a language learn and the implications of this trend.
AI systems allow personalized learning, Japanese companies are now turning toward online AI testing systems such as the Progos test in order to judge their employees’ current ability level.
These systems analyze a learner’s strengths, weaknesses, and progress and can advise or adjust their learning curriculum accordingly.
This personalization can lead to more effective and efficient learning, as the company is given more targeted and relevant feedback.
Some of these tests can often be taken in a short time period from any location which is ideal for busy salarymen on the go.
In addition, AI learning systems can allow learners to interact with chatbots or other AI-powered language partners, allowing them to practice in a safe and supportive environment if they lack confidence.
Another potential bonus of learning a foreign language with an AI application is through the use of gamification.
Applications such as DuoLingo are widely popular around the world and allow language learning to be fun by providing dopamine hits through the use of rewards, achievements and learning streaks.
For non-native speakers who lack confidence or feel anxiety this is an ideal way to ease themselves into language learning.
Gamification also helps develop critical thinking, problem-solving through various puzzles and provides a sense of a competitive online community through the use of scoreboards.
AI can also provide instant feedback and correction.
AI systems such as Grammarly can automatically detect and correct grammar and spelling errors in writing, as well as provide feedback on pronunciation and speaking tone.
Instant feedback and correction can help learners to improve their language skills quickly as they can make corrections in real-time and learn from their mistakes.
However, AI systems also come with some significant drawbacks and challenges.
Some AI systems may rely too heavily on algorithms and pre-programmed data, and may not be able to account for the nuances and cultural differences that are important in language learning.
Also as the data is pre-programmed, inaccuracies, offensive material and copyright issues are also a potential concern.
Most importantly, language learning needs a human touch.
AI may not be able to provide the same level of personal interaction and emotional rapport that human teachers can offer, which is essential in building learner motivation and confidence.
Finally, financial privilege is also an issue.
There are still many who do not have access to the technology or resources needed to use such systems.
Therefore, those who have more access to resources are likely to have an unfair advantage in learning a language.
In conclusion, using AI systems is a double edged sword.
They have the potential to significantly impact English language learning for non-native speakers.
Using personalized learning, gamification and instant feedback they can provide learners with an efficient learning experience.
They can also be utilized by teachers to teach a more efficient class. Despite this, there are also numerous challenges associated with AI systems, and it is important to consider these in comparison to real-time, live, and most importantly human, feedback.
Ultimately the end goal is to learn a language in order to communicate with other humans, not a machine. So, face-to-face learning and practice is essential.