EDITING : 2023.9.11 월 09:45
The Gachon Herald
If You Can’t Talk With Your Friends, Talk With Your Machines!Using technology to enhance your English
kweagle  |  g.herald1984@gmail.com
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Updated : 2023.07.06  22:44:51
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 The question of how to best study English is a complicated one, and I would say that there is not one “best” way to do it, but many different effective ways. In the past I have recommended trying to learn other subjects through the study of English, such as history or biology. I have also recommended dedicating some time each week to read for pleasure in English as a way of developing a better understanding of the overall grammar structures. Today, I will recommend trying to use different types of technology to enjoy English learning.
 For students looking to practice speaking and listening, the big difficulty is finding someone to practice speaking with. One of the things that I try to remind my students is that many, if not all, of their classmates are enrolled in a class that has an English component. Even if they don’t, most of my students are at least consuming some form of entertainment that is in English. Although COVID 19 was an absolute nightmare to live through, it did expose us to the benefits of online learning platforms such as WEBEX and Zoom. These online tools were really effective in creating small conversations during classes, and they can be just as easily used between friends to practice some spoken English from the comfort of their rooms at home. Setting up a weekly conversation group to discuss class topics, or movie and drama reviews, can be an easy way to practice speaking and listening. By using WEBEX or Zoom it can feel less burdensome than going to a café or trying to speak English in a group someplace public.
 Now, a lot of students are just uncomfortable speaking in English with other Koreans. Fortunately, many students love to play different kinds of computer games, and there are a ton of great video and computer games that rely heavily on language to play. Trying to accomplish the goals of story driven games and keeping the language in English is a great way to practice listening and reading comprehension. Nintendo has just released Tears of the Kingdom, and there are many older single player RPG games such as Fallout 3, Fallout 4, Fallout New Vegas, and Skyrim that offer vast worlds where you can learn English through play in an offline way. There are many other RPG games that are nearly all story driven, such as Disco Elysium, that are engaging ways to practice English. For more ambitious learners, try online multiplayer RPG games in English and you can experience English communication through play, but also add the challenge of interacting with other people playing from all over the world. Just be careful, some players can be a bit rude or toxic sometimes~!
 The last technology based recommendation is the latest, and that is using one of the AI chatbots, such as ChatGPT, to build back and forth conversations that can closely match real life English conversations. This technology is still in development, and there are a lot of potential dangers about AI that have many people worried. That being said, it is proving to be a helpful tool to practice second language learning, especially for people who are a bit too shy to just try to practice with their friends.
 
 I hope these techno tips can help some of you find fun and convenient ways to keep learning English outside of the classroom~!

▲ Dept of. Global Language Center

Prof. Tetrick Joseph Edward

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