Rising Against the Machine

Appeasing the Educators’ Fears of Artificial Intelligence Taking Over Foreign Language Education


  • Javier Alvarez North Carolina Central University
  • Sharrah Lane University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


AI, ChatGPT, teaching, foreign language classroom, translation and interpretation, Technology


The presentation explores humanity's interaction with advanced technology, particularly the pros and cons of using artificial intelligence in language learning. It discusses the impact of AI on foreign language education, tracing historical use and the emergence of AI-powered tools like Google Translate and ChatGPT. The presentation highlights the growing importance of bilingual skills in an interconnected world and the role of language education in cross-cultural understanding, addressing the concerns about AI advancements as potentially surpassing foreign language teachers in the classroom. Moreover, the authors discuss AI integration in language education, recognizing opportunities like personalized learning and automated translation. However, they acknowledge challenges, such as reduced cultural understanding and unequal access.

The authors provide examples of ways to use generative AI, like ChatGPT, in language instruction, emphasizing advantages in customized listening practice but cautions against overreliance and potential errors. Overall, the presentation advocates embracing AI in language education while maintaining a balanced approach, combining AI with traditional methods. Responsible implementation and research, as they conclude, can maximize AI's benefits without threatening conventional learning.