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How to use ChatGPT in language teaching and learning


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ChapGPT took the internet by surprise after its release to the public by OpenAI in November of last year. The AI model that works as a chat bot trained to answer queries of different levels of complexities demonstrated very advanced abilities to solve problems, write essays, generate codes and even compose symphonies and poetry. The possibilities ChatGPT offered to users seem endless and very reliable to an extent that it was applied in various areas of life.


In this article, we’re going to dive into the possible ways we can utilize ChatGPT as a tool for language learning and discover how it can come in handy for teachers and students alike.

 

One of the aspects of language learning that educators focus on in the classroom is: vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and culture in addition to the four language skills and a few others. When teachers want to incorporate these aspects in their lessons they usually integrate resources from textbooks or media materials (audio, video…). This is usually included within the syllabus. However, occasionally teachers tend to adjust them to meet the context and background of their students, and more often than not they spend a considerable amount of time coming up with their materials and activities, and here is where ChatGPT can play a significant role in reducing the time and effort spent in that process.


We will talk about ChatGPT’s features that can change teachers’ lives completely if used and implemented the right way.


Generating ideas:


As mentioned before, one of ChatGPT’s main features is the ability to generate ideas based on the prompts you provide it with, and it does a great job of understanding complex input with multiple queries, figuring out context, and providing variations to the same questions all while relying only on publicly available information rather than the internet.


All that aside,

how can we as teachers benefit from this feature in language teaching?

Here are few use cases for the generation of ideas feature in ChatGPT:

Creating texts and reading passages based on topics you are teaching

In the text bar, you can ask ChatGPT to generate passages of different lengths and use them as reading materials for your students. Say you are teaching your kids a text about famous landmarks in New York simply type that prompt along with the length of the passage you need and write any additional details.


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Summarizing, paraphrasing or rewriting various passages from different resources

This is a great feature that I think will be very useful to both teachers and students. In a language class, we encounter texts from online resources or books that we’re asked to read and analyze. Yet due to their length or difficulty, the process may take longer periods and can become very daunting. Now with ChatGPT you can easily search for your reading passage if it is from a book, or input your text directly ask it to summarize it, or explain it in a simple language and therefore save yourself time and effort.


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Writing creative pieces such as poems, short stories, and essays for demonstration purposes during creative writing activities

In literature class, students are introduced to a wide range of creative writing genres and naturally are expected to produce writings of their own. Teachers will usually provide guides on how to write the outline and plot, and describe characters, settings, tone, and others.

Using ChatGPT here will not only help teachers generate samples for elaboration, but will also allow to students control the samples produced using different prompts and follow up with the results to compose their writings.



Real-time Conversing:


Just as the name suggest, ChatGPT is primarily is a chat bot designed to respond to your questions with multiple levels of complexity.

With its advanced and trained AI language model, it can be an indispensable learning tool for every student in the near future.

When we talk about real-time conversation, we mean that ChatGPT keeps track of all the previous prompts you have input and can deduce from the context what you mean and expect what your next question will be. For instance, if you start typing the prompt “Tell me about the greatest authors that ever lived?” after providing you with the answer, you could directly write the next “Give me few examples of their works” without writing a new question.

This feature makes conversing with ChatGPT very intuitive and uninterrupted. Now, with their recent update, (December 15), it automatically saves all your search results, and allows you to continue your conversation where you left off.


So again, how is this useful in language teaching and learning.

  • Teachers can use this feature in explaining difficult notions by providing comprehensive examples that can be more effective, or through translation to the students’ native language which ChatGPT is capable of.

  • It can also be helpful as a practice partner, especially when writing activities, where learners can get ideas about topics to write about, learn about the outline of essays, generate sample writings and compare them to theirs. It can also be used as a conversation builder for different scenarios where learners can learn new vocabulary or useful expressions in different situations.

Students often complain about not having people to practice the language with. Imagine how great It would be if ChatGPT had a voice chat feature that simulates talking to a real person, but until that day, learners have to stick to written prompts instead.

Create learning materials:


Using the generation feature of ChatGPT, we are able to create unlimited amount of resources and learning materials in the language classroom, anything from vocabulary building activities, proverbs and idioms tests, grammar explanations and more. You can design your desired activity with the right prompts, and then use the results to create materials such as flashcards, learning notes, quiz games, surveys. The possibilities are honestly endless and up to your creativity.

For example: you are teaching vocabulary related to air travel. Ask ChatGPT to create a list the commonly used and later combine these words with picture and create your own flashcards.


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When it comes to designing activities, ChatGPT can be a better resource than what you could find on search engines because of the direct answer to your questions than the provided list of suggestions you get on Google.

This helps a lot by cutting off time to go through all suggested activities and just started adopting them or making a few minor adjustments.


 

Using ChatGPT is another form of adopting new technologies in education, by conforming it to your students' needs and your learning objectives.

However, with all its great capabilities, it is worth noting that ChatGPT is not a perfect tool and indeed has flaws that even the developers point at, such as producing content that is biased or inaccurate and in favor of English speaking countries. It is therefore important to familiarize yourself as a teacher and your students of these limitations, and make further inspection of the content you generate to avoid any inconsistencies.


We will soon post more content on how to use ChatGPT for more activities in the classroom, to learn about that stay tuned for our upcoming post by signing up to our website to receive the latest news from us.

If you're more interested in learning English and other languages check out our courses and book a free session with us and we can help you design a learning plan based on your own schedule.

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