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Can Virtual Language Tutors Teach ESL Grammar?

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CSIEC A computer assisted English learning chatbot based on textual knowledge and reasoning, Knowledge-Based Systems 22, 249-255. Spada, N. & Lightbown, P.M. (2008). – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Can Virtual Language Tutors Teach ESL Grammar?


1
Can Virtual Language Tutors Teach ESL Grammar?
  • Faith Marcel
  • Niagara College

2
Agenda
  • Reasons for Exploring the Question
  • What is a Virtual Language Tutor (VLT)?
  • Types of VLTs and their Functions
  • Pedagogical Applications for the Classroom

3
Why explore this question?
4
Some of my reasons
  • Learn more about VLTs, their present functions
    and capabilities
  • Discover whether or not they can be useful for
    educational purposes in or outside of a classroom
  • Determine some ways in which the technology can
    be put to good use
  • Curiosity!

5
What is a Virtual Language Tutor?
6
Broadly speaking
  • A remote or online language teacher

7
Three Categories of VLTs Explored
  • Live Virtual Tutors
  • Intelligent Virtual Tutor Websites
  • Talking Artificial Intelligence (AI) Tutors

8
Have you ever
Before we begin with definitions
used a virtual language tutor?
been a virtual language tutor?
9
Live Virtual Tutors
  • Online language partner
  • Live tutor/teacher assigned to software program
    or site
  • Some examples
  • http//www.tutorvista.com/
  • http//www.mylanguageexchange.com/

10
Screenshot of Test Interaction with Live
Virtual Language Tutor
11
Intelligent Virtual Tutor Websites
  • Websites with larges stores of data or corpora
  • Virtual Worlds such as Second Life
  • An example
  • http//www.smallworlds.com/login/php

12
Talking Artificial Intelligence (AI) Tutors
  • Bots or Chatterbots
  • Animated Talking Heads or Characters
  • Some examples
  • Pandorabots (Home of ALICE, links to many other
    bots) http//pandorabots.com/botmaster/en/home

13
(No Transcript)
14
Brainstorm potential uses
15
What are some benefits of their use?
  • Potential to promote intrinsic motivation
    (Eskenazi, 2009)
  • Real time feedback and encouragement (Wik
    Hjalmarsson, 2009)
  • Improve speaking skills (Levy Stockwell, 2006)
  • Increase exposure to input
  • Build confidence
  • Provide additional means for practice

16
Drawbacks
Solutions ?
  • Complement to sound pedagogical practice
  • Test and monitor technology closely
  • Controlled environment to ensure no surprises!
  • Relatively new technology
  • Technical Issues
  • Issue of accuracy

17
Classroom Online Activities
18
More General Applications for Grammar Teaching
  • Complement to grammar teaching
  • To provide support and reinforcement of grammar
    points
  • Enhance communication and practice of grammatical
    structures
  • Enhance the learning experience (not everyone
    loves grammar!)

19
Thank you!
20
References
  • Coniam, D. (2008). Evaluating the language
    resources of chatbots for their potential in
    English as a second language. ReCALL, 20(1),
    98-116.
  • Eskenazi, Z. (2009). An overview of spoken
    language technology for education. Speech
    Communication, 51(10), 832-844.
  • Fryer, L. Carpenter, R. (2006). Emerging
    technologies Bots as language learning tools.
    Language Learning and Technology, 10(3), 8-14.
  • Jia, J. (2009). CSIEC A computer assisted English
    learning chatbot based on textual knowledge and
    reasoning, Knowledge-Based Systems 22, 249-255.
  • Spada, N. Lightbown, P.M. (2008). Form-focused
    instruction Isolated or Integrated? TESOL
    Quarterly, 42,181-207.
  • TutorVista.com (2008). Tutorvista.com. Retrieved
    from http//www.tutorvista.com/

21
List of Some AI Chatbot Sites
  •  
  • Pandorabots (Home of ALICE, links to many other
    bots)http//pandorabots.com/botmaster/en/home
  • Smallworlds (Virtual world- requires free sign
    up)http//www.smallworlds.com/login.php
  • Hal (Silly computer bot) http//www.zabaware.com
    /webhal/hal6alpha.asp
  • Tina http//demo.vhost.pandorabots.com/pandora/tal
    k?botida93dcf79ae353e49
  • iGod http//www.titane.ca/concordia/dfar251/igod/
    main.html
  • Messenger chatbots http//www.messengerfreak.com/c
    hat_bots.php
  • Mike- Bot which assists with free writing
    practicehttp//www.rong-chang.com/tutor.htm

22
  • Chatbot- Aaron http//nlp.petamem.com/eng/nlp/chat
    bot.mpl
  • Elbot- Animated character (Comical Dont push my
    red button featurehttp//www.elbot.com/
  • Google Talk- Translation bothttp//blogoscoped.com
    /archive/2007-12-19-n41.html
  • Egonbot- Grammar website with virtual chat
    (dragon that moves)http//www.ego4u.com/en/chill-o
    ut/chat/egon-bot
  • Ville-Virtual Language Tutor for
    Swedishhttp//www.speech.kth.se/ville/swell.html
  • Speaking Avatars http//www.voki.com/
  • iPhone Applications
  • Siri Virtual Assistant US Baldi (3D talking
    bald character) Alice Chatbot
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