Hisayo Kikuchi

Aoyama Gakuin University

I teach at Aoyama Gakuin University. I am interested in CALL, EMI, and media literacy.


Utilizing AI smart speakers to improve the English skills of Japanese university students

Zoom E

Participating in digital environments via artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to facilitate English learning and enhance student motivation. Recently, AI technologies can be experienced efficiently and enhance the construction of broader learning environments and viewpoints (Kepuska & Bohouta, 2018), as well as promote the personalization and contextualization of the second language (L2) learning experience, resulting in a more integrated approach to language learning. The main goal of this presentation is to introduce two case studies carried out to ascertain the effectiveness of using AI smart speakers to improve the English proficiency of native Japanese studying at a private university in Tokyo. The participants were required to study English with the assistance of AI speakers. At the conclusion of the training, students delivered presentations of their impressions of the training with the results indicating it had an overall positive effect on improving their English language skills. Both pretest and post-test evaluations were conducted to examine the overall effectiveness using the AI smart speakers, indicating the training helped the students in improving their English communication skills. Post-training surveys revealed a majority of the students were impressed by the use of the AI speakers in improving their English skills, although some students expressed apprehension about using the technology and reported negative outcomes. The presentation concludes with some practical suggestions about how AI smart speakers can be used to improve English education at the tertiary level in Japan.