How to use Chat GPT! Tips for both teachers and learners

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

Chat GPT. It’s all the rage nowadays. (It’s all anyone can talk about!) This text-focused AI can do a lot of things, and I’ve been using it for both teaching English and learning Czech! Let’s take a look at a few examples:

For Learning a Language

  1. Simplifying language – You know you should read more in your target language, but maybe the text is too difficult. You want authentic materials, such as a recent news article or the transcript of a TED talk. The answer is simple: give it to Chat GPT and ask it to simplify the language to your level! Try this: Hi Chat GPT. Can you please take this text and make it simpler for me? For an English beginner? and then cut and paste the text. See what happens next!
  2. Deepening or Sophisticating language – The opposite is also true! If you want to see more advanced variations of language for a certain text, ask Chat GPT to make it more advanced. A class of mine did this recently and learned higher level synonyms such as ‘seasoned parents’ instead of ‘experienced parents’, and saw the word ‘tantamount’ in context!
  3. Go down the rabbit hole! – Start with a word you’re trying to learn, ask for synonyms, ask Chat GPT to put it into a story, have it tell you where the word came from, and so on! For example, want to know where the awesome English word tipsy came from? Here’s what I found out!

Overall, while the precise origin of the word “tipsy” is not entirely clear, it likely derives from an Old English or Middle English word that referred to unsteadiness, instability, or elevation.

-Chat GPT, April 26, 2023

For Teaching a Language

I use Chat GPT all the time! Here are three of the most common uses:

  1. Teaching vocabulary in context – Let’s say I want to focus on money vocabulary, such as ‘make ends meet’, ‘provide for’, ‘paycheck to paycheck’, and so on. I just write those terms into the chatbox and ask for one paragraph of text! Chat GPT does the rest. What a timesaver!
  2. Discussion questions – I teach a lot of group courses, and we often start the class with a simple discussion. When I’m coming up empty, I ask Chat GPT for help! Recently we’ve been talking about creativity and how we lose it during the course of being educated. I asked Chat GPT to generate discussion questions about how to foster or develop creativity and the results are amazing!
  3. On the spot grammar instruction or vocab explanation – I almost always have Chat GPT open in another tab so I can quickly pop over to ask a question. For example: what sounds does water make? Chat GPT reminded me that it makes sounds depending on how it flows, which could be bubbling, gurgling, babbling, splashing, trickling, and rushing.

I’d love to hear from you! How do you use Chat GPT in your lessons? How do you use it to learn? Where else have you used other forms of AI? (artificial intelligence)


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