The Affordances and Contradictions of AI-Generated Text for Writers of English as a Second or Foreign Language
Journal of Second Language Writing, 62, December 2023, 101071. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jslw.2023.101071
24 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2023 Last revised: 13 Nov 2023
Date Written: October 31, 2023
The public release of ChatGPT has provoked much debate as to the potential consequences of artificial intelligence (AI) for writing education. For second language educators and researchers in particular, AI-generated writing poses a major concern for student learning. However, it is also important to recognize the powerful affordances of ChatGPT for second language writers in their studies and careers. We argue that the value of ChatGPT and similar AI-based writing tools for second language learners must be understood through three contradictions: the “imitation” contradiction, the “rich get richer” contradiction, and the “with or without” contradiction. To most effectively address these contradictions, we propose a five-part pedagogical framework focusing on understanding, accessing, prompting, corroborating, and incorporating AI in the writing process. By facilitating conversations about how to use AI in the classroom, we can better support second language learners’ writing development and prepare these students for a world that increasingly values one’s ability to understand and use AI.
Keywords: artificial intelligence, generative AI, second language, foreign language, writing instruction
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