5 best ways ChatGPT can help you learn English

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Do you know that a lot of people are talking about ChatGPT these days? More people are beginning to use it. They use it to look for facts. They also use it to write. Some people even use it to learn new stuff.

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is a kind of computer program. It can understand and make text that looks like a person wrote it. It can answer questions, talk, and help with writing. It gets better at understanding language by learning from a lot of text found on the internet.

You can think of ChatGPT as a very advanced tool for getting information. It’s like Siri (the helper on iOS devices) but even more advanced. ChatGPT is one of many programs that use a way called machine learning. Machine learning is when a computer program helps a tool to “learn” from information that is there or given to it. This helps it to give answers. For example, YouTube suggests videos for you to watch. It does this based on videos you’ve watched before.

There are many other programs like ChatGPT. You might have heard of some of them. For example, there’s Microsoft’s Bing Chat or Google’s Google Bard (not available in Canada yet).

Right now, you can use ChatGPT without paying any money. It is in a stage where it is being studied and feedback is being collected. This means that the people who made the tool are watching how people use it. They are also collecting what people say about it. Later, they can make the program better based on what they learned from this study.

Best ways to use ChatGPT to learn English:

  1. Use it to make your English better

    You can ask ChatGPT to fix your writing. The best part is that you can also ask it to tell you why something is not right or well-written. You can ask questions about English and ask ChatGPT to explain its answers in a way that is easy to understand.

  2. Learn more words

    • You can use it like a better kind of dictionary. You can ask it what a word means, how to use it in a sentence, and how to say it right. The basic ChatGPT version doesn’t make sound. You can add a Chrome extension called Voice Control for ChatGPT to add sound/voice, and recording.
    • You can give it words and then ask it to make a story using all those words.
    • Ask it to make sample chats.You can ask it to use common phrases and Canadian words to see how they are used in a talk.
  3. Ask ChatGPT to make exercises to help you review or study

    One of the best (and most fun) ways to review is to answer quizzes. ChatGPT can make quizzes and exercises on language topics. For example, you can ask it to “make a quiz on adjectives, focusing on compound adjectives.” A tip: Ask it not to show you the answers right away. You can ask for the answer key once you’ve answered the quiz.

  4. Talk with it

    ChatGPT can talk to you on many topics. The best part about it is that it can make you feel like you’re talking to a real person. It can respond in a casual way. It can give you great information. Just remember that it has no personal views. It has no opinions.

    Remember to be clear about the type of responses you want and limit the topic. For example, ask it to give shorter answers. Otherwise, ChatGPT will answer in long paragraphs.

    Sample dialogue on ChatGPT

  6. Practice by switching between your language and English

    It can understand and translate words from your native language into English (and vice versa). You can even use your native language or a mix of English and your own language for questions and prompts. Remember that you can click the “regenerate response” button if you want a different answer. You can also ask it to explain the response more if you don’t understand the answer you get.

What to watch out for when using ChatGPT?

It’s a very good tool. But, it can’t do everything. Here are some things to keep in mind when you use it:

  1. It is not 100% correct. Don’t use it as the only place to look for true facts. As mentioned on its main page, it doesn’t know much about things that happened after 2021. It also can’t tell you about things that are happening at this moment.
  2. Keep your information to yourself. Don’t give out your personal or secret details.
  3. Be clear and detailed. The quality of the answers you get depends on your questions, commands, or prompts. To get the best answers, give as many details as you can. You can also ask for simpler answers or ask it to answer in a way that fits your language skills. You can try some language learning prompts here: Master a new language with ChatGPT, LearnPrompt.org.
  4. Always check information and details again. Use a trusted place like online dictionaries or encyclopedia. Even better, ask your language teacher.

Do you want to try ChatGPT? Go to OpenAI. You will need to give your email to make an account.

Enjoy exploring and learning!
Sources: The ultimate guide for using ChatGPT for English learning, Hadar Shemesh; and How to use ChatGPT to learn a language, engvid with Emma. Accessed July 25, 2023.

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