HIROYUKI OBARI (AOYAMA GAKUIN UNIVERSITY)

THE IMPACT OF AI SPEAKER ON ELT IN JAPAN : COMPUTER-MEDIATED COMMUNICATION IN ELT

AI speakers can be experienced efficiently and smoothly using hand-held devices, which can enhance the construction of broader learning environments and viewpoints (Kepuska & Bohouta, 2018). The present study focuses on assessing the use of the AI speakers Google Home Mini and Amazon Echo Dot as part of a flipped learning environment to improve the English skills of a group of native Japanese undergraduates. Participants were 47 native speakers of Japanese, all third-year students studying at a private university in Tokyo. Pretest and posttest TOEIC scores, as well as a post-training survey, were used in evaluating the overall effectiveness of the program. TOEIC score gains indicated the flipped learning program incorporating the AI speakers improved the students’ overall English skills, especially their listening comprehension. The results suggest that integrating AI with social media and 21st-century skills may be an effective way to improve the language proficiency of adult EFL learners.

Dr. Hiroyuki Obari is a professor and a director of the Foreign Language Center at Aoyama Gakuin University. He obtained his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Tsukuba and M.A. in TESOL from Columbia University. He specializes in CALL, Educational Technology, AI, and e-learning.TESOL.