There have been remarkable advancements in information and communication technology and artificial intelligence lately. Many e-learning materials with ICT and AI have become available in the market. However, none of them has proved whether they are effective in improving speaking skills in real ESL/EFL classrooms. In my previous studies, it was suggested that speaking practice with speech recognition and AI scorning system was most effective since the students can practice speaking anytime, anywhere, without a partner. Furthermore, it was reported that the psychological anxiety of learners could be alleviated, eliminating the resistance to speaking English, without feeling embarrassed even if they made mistakes, and they were able to repeat practicing many times. I have recently developed an e-learning material, which makes the best use of AI technology. Utilizing the most advanced AI technology, I introduce such learning activities as shadowing, role-playing conversations, and speech delivery practices with automatic evaluation and scoring through AI technology. I would also like to report the result of comparisons between pre-test and post-test scores of TOEIC and OPIc to evaluate the effectiveness of speaking practices and the improvement of oral skills with this system. Finally, based on the students’ questionnaire, I would examine the opinions on learning English with AI. As a possibility of further development of the e-learning system using AI technology, the improvement of accuracy of speech recognition of English spoken by non-native speakers, evolution of AI, possibility of practicing free conversations instead of just repeating set phrases would be expected.
Makoto Shishido, Tokyo Denki University, Japan
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