Investigating college EFL learners’ perceptions toward the use of Google Assistant for foreign language learning

Howard Hao Jan Chen*, Christine Ting Yu Yang, Kyle Kuo Wei Lai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Recent studies on the use of Intelligent Personal Assistant (IPA) for second language (L2) learnring have found that IPAs such as Amazon’s Alexa is useful and motivating for L2 learners and that learners’ language proficiency might influence their perceptions toward IPAs. However, most existing studies focused on the potentials of Alexa and paid little attention to Google Assistant (GA). This study was thus conducted to investigate how L2 learners at different proficiency levels perceive the potentials of GA. Twenty-nine EFL college students were recruited to try various voice commands for an hour in order to investigate learners’ perceptions toward the potentials of GA for language learning. Results of the survey and interview show that these learners enjoyed interacting with GA and considered GA an inspiring tool to learn English. They also found that GA can be useful in improving their speaking and listening skills. They perceived GA’s pronunciation to be quite natural and its utterances to be easily comprehensible. Results also reveal that higher level learners achieved better mutual comprehensibility with GA, whereas lower level learners encountered more challenges due to their mispronunciations. Based on these findings, future research directions and pedagogical suggestions on IPA-assisted L2 learning are provided.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInteractive Learning Environments
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Google Assistant
  • human-machine interaction
  • Intelligent personal assistants
  • learners’ perceptions
  • second language speech

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications

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