CEAI vol 3: Exploring an AI-based writing assistant's impact on English language learners

 This work is led by John Maurice Gayed, a doctoral student at the Cross Lab and a lecturer at University of Hyogo. We had introduced updates to the software application used (named AI Kaku) for this research to combine John's and my research last October, so we will surely have updates on AI Kaku soon!

AI Kaku version 1's user interface

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Title: Exploring an AI-based writing assistant's impact on English language learners
Authors: John Maurice Gayed, May Kristine Jonson Carlon, Angelu Mari Oriola, Jeffrey S. Cross
Specifics: Volume 3, February 2022, paper 100055, Elsevier
DOI: 10.1016/j.caeai.2022.100055 (open access)


The increasing use of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) worldwide has brought attention to tools that can assist English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners in their journey to fluency. Much research has shown that EFL learners often do not have sufficient latitude to output at a satisfactory level when writing in a second language. In addition, cognitive (working memory) resources are spent on low-level writing tasks (word production, translation) at the expense of time being allocated to higher-level writing tasks such as organization and revision. The researcher's laboratory developed an AI-based web application called “AI KAKU” to assist EFL learners in reducing the cognitive barriers they face when producing written text in English. While there has been much research and discussion on Automated Writing Evaluation (AWE) technologies or older technologies such as spell check and grammar check, few studies have attempted to use AI-based tools as learning instruments outside assessments. This study recruited adult EFL participants in a counter-balanced experiment to evaluate the potential impact of AI KAKU on student writing. Preliminary results indicate that this is a potentially useful tool for English language learners who need more structured assistance than traditional word processors.