If you have been living under a rock for the past few months and unsure what is Chat GPT, then this is essentially an online AI tool that can be used to generate requested content. There have been many English teachers recognising the potential with language learners, and I thought I would share my experiences so far with private English students with some tips for use in an educational setting.
1. Create Exam Questions
The first idea that teachers could use for Chat GPT for is to generate essay questions, particularly for IELTS students. All you have to do is ask Chat GPT to generate some essay questions for English students and in seconds it provides some inspiration. If you are preparing students for IELTS or a range of Cambridge Examinations, and do not wish to use previously delivered model questions with them, Chat GPT could be used to generate a range of questions for learners.
With the example provided in the image on the left, you could select a question at random or give learners an opportunity to choose. There is also a brief reminder for potential students of the time constraints for the IELTS Writing Part 2 being 40 minutes.
2. Create Model Answers
As well as just creating exam questions for students, you could use this online tool for generating potential model answers. Why would you bother doing this? If students wish to compare their written work with potential models, then Chat GPT generates a potential opportunity to model different bands – see the suggestions below.
In the example above, I requested Chat GPT to generate a potential response for a Band 4 model answer. This could be used to help students develop awareness of structure of potential answers, cohesive devices or synonyms from the exam question. However, what would a Band 8 answer look like?
Chat GPT responded to such a question by producing a model answer. You could do a couple of things with students with each of the texts. Firstly, you could either combine both answers, cut up all the paragraphs, with students having to reconstruct, and decide which answer is a Band 8 and what is considered (by the AI tool) to be a Band 4. Secondly, they could compare their answer with a suggestion and grade their own writing. Thirdly, learners might find it useful to notice the language that has emerged from the AI tool and they could use this to re-write their answer.
It should be noted at the moment, that there is the question regarding originality of student language should learners depend on Chat GPT on creating written work on behalf of them. This is a whole different aspect regarding AI tools being used to complete homework for learners. However, it should be noted that for language learners, it would become pretty self-evident if a student was not able to provide further information or to expand on a point that they had submitted.
3. Correct the Written Work
The final idea that this online AI tool could be used is for students to correct written work. I asked Chat GPT to recreate the writing for the Band 8 model answer but to include spelling and grammatical errors.
Obviously, you will still have to go through the text, but getting students to go through and proofread work would offer learners the opportunity to develop skills associated with attention to detail.
I used Chat GPT to correct my private student’s piece of writing, essentially to allow my learner to differentiate between their writing and what was suggested. You could apply a similar technique to get learners to check their writing compared to an AI suggestion. Again, this raises the issue of originality and whether there is an ethical approach to using AI tools within writing.
So these are three ideas for using Chat GPT with students or in class. What teaching ideas do you have for using such a tool with your class? Would you consider using such tools with your students? Where does this leave the teacher within the writing process? Just a few questions to get you thinking.
Meanwhile, what does Chat GPT have to say about this? Well, here is their answer!