Evaluating intelligent personal assistants for L2 listening and speaking development

Dizon, Gilbert
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University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center
Center for Language & Technology
(co-sponsored by Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning, University of Texas at Austin)
While the use of intelligent personal assistants (IPAs) has exploded in recent years, little is known about their use to promote English as a foreign language (EFL) development. Thus, this study addresses this gap in the literature by examining the in-class use of the IPA, Alexa, among second language (L2) English students to support improvements in listening comprehension and speaking proficiency. The study utilized a quasi-experimental design with an experimental group (n = 13) which took part in a 10-week treatment of student-IPA interaction and a control group (n = 15) which did not. Results from the Mann-Whitney U test found that the experimental group was able to make more significant gains in L2 speaking proficiency. However, a significant difference was not found when comparing improvements in L2 listening comprehension. These findings suggest that IPAs may be a useful tool to promote L2 speaking skills and underscore the necessity for additional research on the emerging technology for language learning.
Intelligent Computer-Assisted Language Learning (ICALL), L2 Listening, L2 Speaking
Dizon, G. (2020). Evaluating intelligent personal assistants for L2 listening and speaking development. Language Learning & Technology, 24(1), 16–26. https://doi.org/10125/44705
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