The Effects of Virtual Agents on Bilingual Teachers’ Willingness to Communicate in L2 (74560)

Session Information: Foreign Languages Education & Applied Linguistics (including ESL/TESL/TEFL)
Session Chair: Nian Liu

Friday, 24 November 2023 12:50
Session: Session 3
Room: Room 603
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

Developing adequate speaking skills in a second and foreign language (L2) has been challenging and anxiety-provoking. With the advancement of artificial intelligence and automatic speech recognition, some researchers have suggested that the pedagogical use of virtual agents can effectively promote learners’ willingness to communicate in L2. However, virtual agent-assisted bilingual teaching has yet to be a fully-fledged field of research. Therefore, the study investigated the effects of virtual agents on Taiwanese bilingual teachers’ willingness to communicate in English and their perception of virtual agents for bilingual teaching. A total of 30 Taiwanese bilingual teachers were recruited and participated in a one-semester intervention consisting of interactive activities with the virtual agent Google Assistant on Google Nest Hub in their daily life and bilingual classrooms. The quantitative (WTC questionnaires) and qualitative data (semi-structured interviews) were collected and analyzed. The results indicated that the virtual agent significantly promoted the participants’ L2 WTC. Detailed analysis of the interview data revealed that the participants enjoyed interacting with the virtual agent because it created a less stressful, friendly interactive environment. The mobility, convenience, and various modes of interaction engaged the participants and reduced their anxiety. More importantly, virtual agents provided opportunities to practice speaking with immediate feedback, all conducive to improving bilingual teachers’ L2 WTC.

Tzu-Yu Tai, Providence University, Taiwan

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Tzu-Yu Tai is a University Assistant Professor/Lecturer at Providence University in Taiwan

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00