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Artificial Intelligence Technology for EAP Speaking Skills: Student Perceptions of Opportunities and Challenges

Part of the New Language Learning and Teaching Environments book series (NLLTE)

Abstract

This study explores university students’ attitudes regarding the potential of artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted mobile applications (apps) to support the development of speaking skills in English for academic purposes (EAP) courses in higher education. Analysis of the data shows students expressing a preference to use AI tools for speaking development due to limited teacher feedback, and although they were generally satisfied practising their English using the AI technologies, the findings also point to certain limitations of the current AI apps, such as lack of applicable feedback and few model examples. In addition, students held strong views discouraging any notion that AI could replace actual language teachers. In conclusion, students suggest the need for more AI resources, especially apps that accommodate a variety of English accents.

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Acknowledgement

This research is supported by KSF-E-16 in XJTLU.

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Correspondence to Bin Zou .

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Acronyms and abbreviations Transcription and explanations
AI Artificial Intelligence.
AI-EAP Computer or mobile phone applications using artificial intelligence to support the learning of English for academic purposes.
AI-ELL Computer or mobile phone applications using artificial intelligence to support the learning of English for generic purposes, as opposed to specific ones, such as academic, or aimed to prepare for high-stake exams like TOEFL iBT, and similar exams releasing certification.
CALL Computer-assisted language learning.
EAP English for academic purposes. University courses offered typically to non-native speaking students to ensure their familiarity with genre and text requirements of academic work designed and communicated through the medium of English.
ELF English as a lingua franca; the dialect typically used for academic purposes by international universities.
IELTS International English language testing system.
NNA Non-native accents; emerging varieties of English for academic purposes such as Chinese, Mexican and Nigerian English.
NS Native students/speakers of the target languages.
NNS Non-native students/speakers of the target language.
TOEFL iBT Test of English as a Foreign Language, Internet-Based Test.
TOEIC Test of English for International Communication.
VRT Voice recognition technology and software.

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Zou, B., Liviero, S., Hao, M., Wei, C. (2020). Artificial Intelligence Technology for EAP Speaking Skills: Student Perceptions of Opportunities and Challenges. In: Freiermuth, M., Zarrinabadi, N. (eds) Technology and the Psychology of Second Language Learners and Users. New Language Learning and Teaching Environments. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-34212-8_17

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-34212-8_17

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