Potential Affordances of Generative AI in Language Education: Demonstrations and an Evaluative Framework

Pack, A. & Maloney, J. (2023). Potential Affordance of Generative AI in Language Education: Demonstrations and an Evaluative Framework. Teaching English with Technology 23(2),4-24.

This timely article provides a comprehensive overview of the potential affordances of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in language teaching, particularly the AI chatbot ChatGPT. As the authors note, much of the current discourse on AI in the education sector is concerned with how AI can or could be misused by students. Although serious issues such as plagiarism need attention, the article focuses on the potential of tools such as ChatGPT to support teaching and learning and to save valuable time in developing learning materials, assessment tasks and rubrics for evaluating student writing.

AI chatbots such as ChatGPT work through prompts provided by the users, and the authors offer examples of prompts designed to elicit quality, appropriate responses which can aid instructors in developing materials for instruction and learning and for assessment purposes. The examples provided are based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) but could be drawn from other frameworks such as the CLB framework and/ or the LINC curriculum guidelines. The article also includes a discussion of how two existing frameworks, Hubbard‘s (1988, 2021) framework for evaluation and Bronfenbrenner‘s(1979), can be used in combination to assist language instructors in making informed decisions about when, how and why to use generative AI to support materials development and the creation of assessment tasks to be used in their own context.

The authors suggest that by combining elements of each framework, instructors can evaluate the use of AI tools for themselves and their students and consider how their use will align with the values and policies of the institutions and programs in which they work.

Retrievable from: https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1397173.pdf

Blended learning materials for language acquisition

Tomlinson, B. (2023). Blended learning materials for language acquisition. Journal of English Language Teaching Innovations and Materials (Jeltim),5 (1) 1-16.

This article provides a comprehensive overview of the development of materials to support language acquisition in a blended language learning environment.

The author defines materials development as “the design, production, and utilisation of anything intended to facilitate language acquisition. This could be a story, a listening activity, a debate, a photo, a video, a board game, a communication task, a blog, a discovery task, an advertisement, an e-mail or even a sequence of questions.”

He identifies four important principles of language acquisition and offers a brief discussion and description of each of these principles.

These are:

  • A pre-requisite for language acquisition is that the learners experience language in use that is rich, recycled, meaningful, embodied, and comprehensible.
  • Learners need to be affectively engaged in their language experience.
  • Use experiential approaches in which the learners first of all experience the language in use and then move gradually from apprehension to comprehension (Kolb & Kolb, 2017), to a personal response, to reflection, to analysis.
  • Learners need opportunities to use the language for contextualised and purposeful communication.

For each of these principles the author provides a discussion of the elements and procedures for materials development in a blended learning environment, and examples of learning activities for both face-to-face and online learning. Essentially, he recommends that learning opportunities that rely on oral interactions take place face-to-face while those that can best  be provided remotely are delivered online.

He argues that  the elements of blended language learning courses, including materials development should be fully connected and integrated to  optimise the potential of in-person and online teaching  to provide an effective blended learning experience.

Retrievable from: https://jurnal.untan.ac.id/index.php/JELTIM/article/view/60159/pdf_1