Using ChatGPT for Language Learning

As teachers and school leaders, what should we think about ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is powered by GPT3, a large language model (LLM) trained on an enormous amount of text data — about 500 billion words to be precise. Large language models work by predicting the next most-likely word when given a list of input words (usually phrased as a question). The model is trained using many billions of parameters that can represent the complexity of the world. By inputting real-world data, the algorithm readjusts its parameters until it can produce human-like responses to a range of questions.

The next version of the model, GPT4, will have about 100 trillion parameters – about 500 times more than GPT3. This is approaching the number of neural connections in the human brain.

I have come to the conclusion that we should explore the possibilities here. One thing is certain. We can not hide behind a protective internet-blocking wall. Most likely this will be a valuable tool when it comes to helping our students if used wisely. Below I asked the ChatGPT to make a vocabulary aid to my french text from Le Monde.

This video shows examples of how well OpenAI’s ChatGPT might be used by people learning and teaching second languages. The video was recorded on December 7, 2022, a week after the release of ChatGPT. The speaker is Tom Gally (, a professor in the Centre for Global Communication Strategies at the University of Tokyo. Examples shown in the video are linked from the following page:…

How should we respond?

Moving forward, we’ll need to think of ways AI can be used to support teaching and learning, rather than disrupt it. Here are three ways to do this.

1. Integrate AI into classrooms and lecture halls

History has shown time and again that educational institutions can adapt to new technologies. In the 1970s the rise of portable calculators had maths educators concerned about the future of their subject – but it’s safe to say maths survived.

Just as Wikipedia and Google didn’t spell the end of assessments, neither will AI. In fact, new technologes lead to novel and innovative ways of doing work. The same will apply to learning and teaching with AI.

Rather than being a tool to prohibit, AI models should be meaningfully integrated into teaching and learning.

2. Judge students on critical thought

One thing an AI model can’t emulate is the process of learning, and the mental aerobics this involves.

The design of assessments could shift from assessing just the final product, to assessing the entire process that led a student to it. The focus is then placed squarely on a student’s critical thinking, creativity and problem-solving skills.

Students could freely use AI to complete the task and still be marked on their own merit.

3. Assess things that matter

Instead of switching to in-class examination to prohibit the use of AI (which some may be tempted to do), educators can design assessments that focus on what students need to know to be successful in the future. AI, it seems, will be one of these things.

AI models will increasingly have uses across sectors as the technology is scaled up. If students will use AI in their future workplaces, why not test them on it now?

The dawn of AI

Vladimir Lenin, leader of Russia’s 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, supposedly said:

There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen.

This statement has come to roost in the field of artificial intelligence. AI is forcing us to rethink education. But if we embrace it, it could empower students and teachers. Source: The Conversation

Ecole : la France a les classes les plus chargées de l’Union européenne

Une récente étude du service statistique du ministère de l’éducation nationale souligne une situation qui se dégrade particulièrement dans les collèges et lycées.


Il n’y a pas qu’en termes de salaire des enseignants ou d’inégalités scolaires que les comparaisons internationales sont sévères pour le système éducatif français. Un rapport consacré à « L’Europe de l’éducation », publié le 22 décembre par la direction de l’évaluation, de la prospective et de la performance (DEPP), le service statistique du ministère de l’éducation nationale, montre que la France est le pays de l’Union européenne (UE) dont les effectifs par classes sont les plus lourds.

Les élèves scolarisés en élémentaire en France sont en moyenne 22 par classe. La baisse est notable par rapport à la dernière édition du rapport, en 2020, date à laquelle les dédoublements des effectifs de CP et de CE1 en éducation prioritaire n’étaient pas pris en compte dans l’étude et où la moyenne française était à 24 élèves. Elle reste cependant supérieure au reste de l’UE (19,3). Au collège, l’effectif moyen approche 26 élèves (situation similaire à l’Espagne), très au-dessus de la moyenne de tous les pays, située sous la barre des 21.

  • Partager : to share
  • Icône : icon
  • En haut à droite : top right
  • L’autorisation écrite : written permission
  • Préalable : prior
  • Interdite : forbidden
  • Condition générale de vente : terms of sale
  • Demande d’autorisation : request for permission
  • Droits d’auteur : copyright
  • Abonné : subscriber
  • Offrir : to offer
  • Fonctionnalité : feature
  • Proche : loved one, close one
  • Étude : study
  • Service statistique : statistical service
  • Ministère de l’éducation nationale : Ministry of National Education
  • Collège : middle school
  • Lycée : high school
  • Dégrade : deteriorates
  • Élémentaire : elementary
  • Éducation prioritaire : priority education
  • Espagne : Spain
  • Élève : student
  • Scolarisé : enrolled
  • École : school
  • Effectif : enrollment
  • Moyen : average
  • Baisse : decrease
  • Dernière édition : latest edition
  • Dédoublement : doubling
  • Éducation : education
  • Très au-dessus : well above


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