ChatGPT For Language Learning: 10 Steps For Faster Fluency

| Language Learning

chatgpt for language learning feature image of the software on a mobile phoneIf you want to skip the hassles of personal tutors and classrooms, ChatGPT for language learning is actually a viable option.

But there are a few dead ends and traps you’ll want to avoid.

Once you know what they are, ChatGPT for studying languages is surprisingly useful.

In fact, I wish I had it years ago when I studied Classical languages as part of my PhD in Humanities at York University. It would have saved me a ton of time.

Ever since ChatGPT first appeared, I’ve been using it for language learning.

Using the tips and tricks I’ve discovered, you’ll be able to get much more out of the software.

And if you do still work with language learning tutors or go to classes, you’ll get much more out of those efforts too.

Ready to make the most out of this incredible technology as you journey towards fluency?

Let’s dive in!

Can You Really Use ChatGPT For Language Learning?

Yes, you can. But it does have certain limitations.

For example, you’ll still need to keep comprehensible input in mind. That’s the term used by language learning expert Stephen Krashen.

Basically, it means that you have start with low levels of challenge and then work your way up.

And this is where ChatGPT can really shine. You can explain to it how long you’ve been studying a particular language.

If the amount of time is zero, you can ask it for some of the most important vocabulary you need to learn. You can then ask it for mnemonic examples and a spaced repetition schedule.

It can even give you a list of series and movies to consider watching. And when you do, these tips for language learning with Netflix (or other streaming platform) will give you an additional boost.

How to Use ChatGPT To Boost Your Fluency In Any Language

Here’s a bunch of suggestions. Most of them are in an order you should consider following. But not all of them.

It’s important to understand that becoming fluent in a language is not always linear. A lot of activities need to be interwoven, ideally using a learning strategy scientists call interleaving.

Step One: Ask For Gamified Missions Based On Your Current Level

Tell ChatGPT the language you want to learn and why.

Then ask it to create specific missions for you to complete.

To get even better suggestions, explain your schedule. You can also share any concerns you have, or ask for help developing mental strength to overcome any self-confidence issues you might need to confront.

Although it might seem weird to get help from ChatGPT for personal fears you might have about language learning, early research shows that the software is already showing benefits in this area of human psychology.

Step Two: Ask For The Best Possible Vocabulary For Your Goals

You don’t need nearly as many words to be fluent as some people suggest.

So ask ChatGPT to give you a realistic daily number to learn.

Spend a short amount of time learning to memorize vocabulary, and consult with the software for the next step.vocabulary

Step Three: Get Examples Of Core Vocabulary In Phrases

We rarely use words on their own.

For example, when I was learning German, I always worked with a dictionary that included plenty of sentences. That way, I could memorize both the core vocabulary and have real world, contextual phrases to work with as well.

This is where you need to watch out, however. ChatGPT sometimes hallucinates. So it’s important to check with a native speaker that the sentences are actually meaningfully.

Fortunately, there are some language learning software programs that connect you with native speakers for free.

Step Four: Ask For Recommendations On Working With Textbooks

Although I have a list of my favorite language learning books, ChatGPT surprised me with a few I’d never heard of before.

It was even able to make some stories for me in German, Chinese and Latin. They weren’t as engaging as the StoryLearning material created by Olly Richards, but still pretty good.

The best part is that it gives decent tips on getting more out the books, tips that are key for learning any new language faster.two women are working with a computer

Step Five: Ask For Exercises And Quizzes

As you can see in the video above, I asked ChatGPT to dialogue with me. Having conversations is an incredible language learning drill, and it’s amazing how good ChatGPT is at quickly responding.

I was even able to discuss philosophy with it in German. That has been incredibly fun and helped me learn a lot of vocabulary I didn’t previously know.

Step Six: Use Laddering

If you’ve ever wondered if you can learn more than one language at a time, the answer is yes, although there are some caveats I’ve shared based on my experiences as a public language learner.

That matter aside, one of the most impressive uses of ChatGPT for developing fluency has been laddering.

Laddering is when you use resources in a language you’ve already learned to help you learn another one.

In other words, when I started learning Mandarin, I used textbooks for the language written in German. German was my “ladder’ into Chinese.

As you’ll see in the video above, I had ChatGPT give me lessons in Latin in German. This approach is incredibly powerful for learning two languages at the same time.

Step Seven: Get Help With Mnemonics (Cautiously)

For many years, I have taught that you need to come up with your own mnemonic images.

Nothing about this has changed.

However, ChatGPT is the first time you can dialog with an LLM.

I’ve found this aspect of using ChatGPT the most challenging, but it is possible to explain a bit about the Magnetic Memory Method Masterclass to it and get some decent mnemonic examples.The Art of Memory By Frances Yates Hardcover

Frankly, I think you’ll get a lot further with ChatGPT than you will with reading The Art of Memory. And that’s really saying something.

But you still need to be cautious. You don’t want to cause learned helplessness. Make sure you use that term and ask it to help you learn to use mnemonics based on the science of active recall.

Step Eight: Use ChatGPT For Review

Tell ChatGPT that you want to craft a proper learning cycle.

Ask for tips on using flashcards optimally. You can even ask it for tips on a more detailed approach to flashcards called the Zettelkasten method.

Spend some time on crafting your schedule with the software. The great thing is that it has time in abundance to receive information about your schedule and help you make the time for both learning and review.

Step Nine: Seek Help With Designing A Flawless Memory Palace

The Memory Palace for Language Learning is powerful.

Yet, the Memory Palace technique is practically useless if you don’t use it correctly.

Explain to the software how you intend to use it and ask it to help you optimize your understanding.

Step Ten: Save Your Discussions

Whether you’re using the free version or have upgraded to paid, you never know when something might wipe out your history.

The time you’re spending is invaluable, after all.

Not only should you save backups of your conversations, but also take notes in a journal.Anthony Metivier with The Freedom Journal for memory improvement and language learning

One of my favorite language learning tools is The Freedom Journal. (It’s useful for other learning goals as well.)

AI For Language Learning Is Powerful

Although ChatGPT is still very new, it’s amazing how quickly it has shown itself to be useful.

I started off skeptical, but I’m glad I put in the time to run a bunch of experiments. It’s hard for me to explain just how pleasantly surprised I was and how quickly I started to benefit from using it.

That said, it’s a supplement, not an alternative.

I still follow the best practices I’ve learned from language learning experts like Luca Lampariello.

What makes me happiest is that I’m a bit of a lone wolf and introvert. So instead of undergoing linguistic deskilling, I can enjoy decent conversations in languages I’ve learned and even boost my fluency.

And as you’ve discovered, laddering lets me use ChatGPT to maintain one language while getting help with learning another.

It also helps produce practical vocabulary lists and phrases to memorize from.

If you’d like to memorize faster yourself, grab my FREE Memory Improvement Kit:

Free Memory Improvement Course

It will help you master the key memory techniques that help people just like you learn languages much more quickly.

Even though it’s not a magic bullet, harness the power of ChatGPT sooner than later for your language learning goals.

It will help you save time and get more out of the standard activities needed to achieve fluency.

Keep learning, exploring new tools and exercising your memory.

Knowledge is power!

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