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Large Language Models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT or other “AI” Chatbots can produce coherent and grammatical text, but does this make them good proxy conversational partners for students in language courses? I recently led a roundtable discussion on some of the problems and possibilities my elementary French students and I experienced when using ChatGPT to practice written conversational French. Below are some (anonymized and paraphrased) chat logs from the chatbot conversations, as well as student commentary.

My elementary French students had the option to complete certain “partner chat” activities using ChatGPT. They prompted ChatGPT to “write like a first-year French student”. Hilarity ensued:

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