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Using Alexa for autonomous foreign language learning
This presentation details two case studies that examined the use of intelligent personal assistants (IPAs) for autonomous L2 learning: one involving L2 English learners (N=14) and another involving L2 Japanese learners (N=6). The studies utilized similar research designs, L2 students of both languages used the target IPA, Alexa, in their homes over a two-month period. The goals of the studies were as follows: assess students’ views of Alexa for autonomous L2 learning, understand their L2 usage habits concerning the IPA, learn what strategies they used to resolve English communication breakdowns with the IPA, and explore the reliability of Alexa to comprehend the students’ L2 Japanese speech. Students’ views of Alexa for autonomous L2 learning were assessed through a technology acceptance model (TAM)-based survey which examined three TAM constructs (usefulness, effectiveness, and satisfaction) as well as open-ended written response questions. The reliability of Alexa to understand L2 Japanese was evaluated by comparing the automated transcriptions produced by the IPA with human-rater transcription of the participants’ audio-recorded utterances. While analysis of the L2 Japanese case study results is ongoing, findings from the study on autonomous L2 English learning with Alexa indicated that participants had mostly favorable views of the IPA for autonomous language learning. Nevertheless, the results showed that the students tended to give when facing communication difficulties and that the learners did not actively use Alexa in their homes. Additional findings and implications from the case studies will be discussed in the presentation.
Daniel Tang is a lecturer at Otemae University. His interests are Peace Studies, English pedagogy, International Relations in East Asia and CALL.
Gilbert Dizon an associate professor at Himeji Dokkyo University, Japan and a doctoral student in the Department of Literacy, Culture, and Language Education at Indiana University. His research interests lie in computer-assisted language learning, specifically, technology-mediated informal language learning and the use of artificial intelligence in language education.