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AI is a fantastic resource that can enhance English language learning experiences for students all over the world, but it will not replace the teacher - according to an expert from Cambridge.
Dr Evelina Galaczi from Cambridge University Press & Assessment made the comments at the British Council’s New Directions Conference held in Brazil. She presented Cambridge’s seven key principles for successfully integrating AI into the English language classroom and stressed the importance of not letting AI do all the work.
‘AI provides fantastic opportunities for the English classroom such as more personalised learning journeys, fast content creation and really smart ways of supporting teachers,’ commented Dr Galaczi, Director of Research at Cambridge University Press & Assessment. She continued: ‘But AI doesn’t have all the answers and will not replace the teacher. At Cambridge we’d recommend learners and teachers take a common-sense approach to integrating AI in the classroom. This includes being aware of the risks of AI such as inaccurate content, bias, copyright and of course issues around cheating. To help get the best out of AI we’ve set out seven key principles which focus on keeping the human in the loop at all times to ensure this exciting trend really does enhance the English language learning experience.’
Galaczi outlined Cambridge’s seven key principles for using AI in the English language classroom:
On whether teachers will be replaced by AI, Galaczi said:
‘Teaching is still very human centred, and AI can’t replace the social and emotional aspect of learning, but it can really enhance the experience. Teachers will continue to play a very crucial role but teaching practices will change. There are a number of things that teachers can do now to enhance learning experiences through AI. This includes developing classroom activities that make use of tools such as Chat GPT. For example teachers can ask their students to correct or rewrite an AI powered response on a particular topic. These are the types of small steps you can take now to be ready for the future.’
Dr Galaczi also commented on how the English language sector is changing rapidly and how Cambridge is focussing on several areas including personalising learning experiences, harnessing AI and machine learning aligned to human needs, and integrating learning and assessment into people’s learning journeys.