Unmasking ChatGPT: The Challenges of Using Artificial Intelligence for Learning Vocabulary in English as an Additional Language




Farr, Chloë

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Through this thesis, presented in the form of a book, I examine the use of ChatGPT, a conversational AI tool, as a tutor for learning vocabulary in English as an Additional Language (EAL). The goal is to inform educators and learners about the role of AI in language pedagogy. I begin by examining how ChatGPT lies at the junction of technology, EAL pedagogy, and content knowledge (Chapter 2). I then conduct my own exploration of ChatGPT through a series of interactions that show where it succeeds and where it fails, focusing on vocabulary learning for English for Specific Academic Purposes (ESAP) (Chapters 3, 4, and 5). Throughout my exploration, I provide commentary on ChatGPT’s embedded cultural and linguistic biases, grammatical inaccuracies, and misinformation. The analysis of the interactions highlights the risks of using ChatGPT as a language tutor, due to technological challenges, pedagogical limitations, and content accuracy issues, especially in field-specific vocabulary. Ultimately, the recommendation is that ChatGPT should only be used for language learning by, or under the supervision of, individuals who are knowledgeable in technology, pedagogy, and content, and aware of the ethical considerations of AI (Chapter 6).



Artificial Intelligence, Large Language Models, English as an Additional Language, Mobile Assisted Language Learning, ChatGPT, English for Specific Academic Purposes, Digital Competence, Vocabulary