The impact of intelligent personal assistants on adolescent EFL learners’ listening comprehension

Tzu Yu Tai, Howard Hao Jan Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Intelligent Personal Assistant (IPA) has emerged as a valuable tool for EFL learning by offering interactive authentic contexts. Although IPA is believed to be motivational and useful, empirical evidence is limited and contradictory, especially the efficacy of listening comprehension. Therefore, the study investigated the impact of IPA on adolescent EFL learners’ listening comprehension, particularly regarding the presentation mode of IPA responses and its interaction styles. Ninety-two ninth-grade EFL learners were recruited from three intact classes and randomly divided into two experimental groups (i.e. GA-Hub group, using Google Nest Hub with multimodal responses; GA-Mini group, using Google Nest Mini with audio responses) and one control group (non-GA group, using a CD player as they did in the conventional class). Both quantitative (English listening tests) and qualitative data (questionnaires and interviews) were collected and analyzed in the 10-week study. The results showed that Google Assistant, especially via Google Nest Hub, positively promoted the participants’ listening comprehension. Detailed analyses of interviews demonstrated that Google Assistant provided interactive listening, presented multimodal screen-based responses, encouraged peer collaboration, and offered edutainment (a combination of IPA- and game-based learning), which added authenticity, flexibility, and enjoyment for meaningful interaction and thus promoted EFL listening.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-460
Number of pages28
JournalComputer Assisted Language Learning
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • EFL listening
  • Google Assistant
  • intelligent personal assistant (IPA)
  • interaction style
  • presentation mode

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Computer Science Applications


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