Improving Communicative Competence of ESL Students

Improving Communicative Competence of ESL Students

Project Manager: Jacob Huckle

We are primarily interested in how we can improve student achievement regarding
this assessment objective: can we enable students to speak with a wider range
of grammatical structures? To effectively do so would be to improve students’
learning, specifically in ESL, but also their language development more generally.
Our project will investigate the possibility of creating Alexa Skills on Amazon Echo
to allow students to engage in such practice. We hope that through this Amazon
Echo practice, students will be more likely to use the target language structures in
their own speaking. Using Amazon Echos in ESL classes will significantly change
the quality of language practice that students receive. Normally, practice of output
might involve speaking to classmates, but classmates are all language learners and
are not able to catch mistakes. With the Amazon Echo, students will be able to use
their own understanding of English to practice speaking. They can create flowcharts
on a website, download them onto the Amazon Echo, and then use their
own language for speaking practice either individually or with peers. This allows
students to control their own learning and receive feedback immediately. Students
will also be able to receive feedback outside of class by borrowing the Echos from
the English department for at-home work.


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