May 1, 2023
Language forums and websites are alive with the topic of ChatGPT and the potential of AI to transform language learning. While learning a language with ChatGPT may seem like a convenient and efficient way to improve one's language skills, let’s consider the pros and cons before diving in.
On the plus side, ChatGPT has been trained in a number of languages including English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and many more. It can therefore provide learners with access to a vast array of language data, including texts, audio, and video materials from around the world. Additionally, it can adapt to the learner's level and provide personalised feedback to help them improve. By interacting with the language model and asking it questions, learners can receive immediate feedback on their writing skills. Moreover, learners can ask ChatGPT to provide examples of how to use specific words or phrases in context, thereby improving their understanding of the language.
ChatGPT is available 24/7 which also means learners can learning materials at anytime, anywhere, particularly useful for corporate learners with busy work schedules.
ChatGPT can also be used for cultural immersion. By asking ChatGPT questions about cultural aspects of the language, learners can gain a deeper understanding of the language and the culture that surrounds it. For example, learners can ask ChatGPT about holidays, customs, and traditions, allowing them to learn more about the cultural context in which the language is used.
However, there are also potential downsides to learning with ChatGPT. One of the biggest disadvantages is the lack of human interaction. It cannot replace the experience of interacting with a human teacher or fellow learners. It may lack the nuance and context that a human language teacher can provide. Additionally, as a machine learning model, it may not always provide the most natural-sounding language output.
And while ChatGPT has made enormous strides in mimicking human language, it may still have a limited understanding of complex topics struggling to provide accurate or relevant responses to certain types of questions. It struggles to grasp the subtle nuances of human communication especially sarcasm or humour and therefore fails to pick up on the intended meaning in this context.
Despite these limitations, language learning with a language model like ChatGPT can be a valuable supplement to tutor-led language learning, offering a unique and convenient way to practice language skills.