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  • Dr. Paola Valladares

ChatGpt in the World Language Classroom

In today's rapidly evolving educational landscape, technology has become an invaluable tool for enhancing learning experiences. One noteworthy addition to the classroom is ChatGPT, a powerful language model developed by OpenAI. As a Spanish high school teacher, I've discovered innovative ways to leverage ChatGPT to support language learning and promote a more engaging and interactive classroom environment. In this blog, I will share insights into how ChatGPT can be effectively integrated into the Spanish curriculum, along with real-world examples of its implementation.

Before we start, let’s just all agree technology and different types of AI software is not going anywhere and our students are going to utilize these resources whether we like it or not, so why not use this to our advantage and create relevant, dynamic lessons our students can enjoy!

1. Conversational Practice

One of the most exciting aspects of using ChatGPT in the World Language classroom is its potential to provide students with authentic conversational practice. Language learning is not just about memorizing vocabulary and grammar rules; it's about applying those skills in real-life conversations. ChatGPT can serve as a virtual conversation partner, allowing students to practice speaking and writing in a natural and relaxed setting.

In-Class Activity: Divide students into pairs for a conversational exercise. One student interacts with ChatGPT in Spanish while the other takes on the role of a conversation observer. After the conversation, both students discuss the experience, highlighting areas where they excelled and identifying areas for improvement. This activity not only enhances speaking skills but also encourages reflection and peer collaboration.

2. Creative Writing Prompts

Fostering creativity in language learning can be a challenge, but ChatGPT can be a game-changer in this regard. It can provide students with unique and inspiring writing prompts, sparking their imagination and encouraging them to craft stories, poems, and essays in Spanish.

In-Class Activity: As a warm-up activity, present students with a short paragraph generated by ChatGPT. The paragraph could describe a mysterious old house on a hill. Instruct students to continue the story, incorporating elements of suspense, descriptive language, and engaging dialogue. This exercise not only practices writing skills but also allows students to experiment with different styles and tones.

3. Cultural Exploration

Language and culture are intricately intertwined, and learning a new language often involves understanding the cultural nuances that shape communication. ChatGPT can facilitate cultural exploration by providing students with insights into Spanish-speaking cultures from around the world.

In-Class Activity: Assign students a project where they interact with ChatGPT to learn about a specific Spanish-speaking country. They can ask questions about traditional foods, festivals, customs, and local phrases. Based on the information gathered, students can create presentations or reports that showcase their findings and offer a deeper understanding of the cultural diversity within the Spanish-speaking world.

While technology will never replace in person interaction and learning, it can be a great tool to review, practice and use the target language in a way students can relate, enjoy, and look forward to, so why not give it a try?

About the author: Dr. Paola Valladares, a seasoned Spanish educator with 12 years of experience, brings her Mexican heritage to her teaching. Holding a PhD in Curriculum Development in Education since 2021, she imparts linguistic and cultural knowledge. Dr. Valladares is an OSU-IT Spanish Adjunct and a full-time teacher at Manitou Springs High School. Beyond teaching, she loves reading, traveling, and hiking. With an 11-year-old son, a husband, and three dogs, she finds joy in family, music, and trying new things.

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