Top 10 Prompts for Learning Languages
Ever since the release of show-stopping innovations like Open AI’s new generative AI chatbot, ChatGPT, or the company’s original artwork generator, Dall-E, artificial intelligence has been on everybody’s minds. Machine learning is still a relatively young and emerging field, and most of these mainstream technologies are all fairly new, so it’s no surprise that people have begun to gravitate towards this AI trend — after all, it shows a lot of potential. As a result, from cooking to writing essays, there have been countless AI-related topics online resources have covered, each one offering ways to use AI to its maximum potential. A vast majority of these resources concern AI prompting, the act of engineering queries to feed into AI chatbots like ChatGPT.
Now, prompting can be used in an infinite number of ways. This article covers a small pool of those methods, specifically how the act can be incorporated into language learning. Language learning is a field that AI is bound to greatly impact. In fact, apps like Duolingo have already incorporated some AI-based elements. AI and languages indeed go hand-in-hand. This is because the bulk of language learning stems from memorizing and being extremely comfortable with a set of well-defined rules. Programs like AI are quite good at identifying patterns — and in turn, rules — so they naturally excel at language learning and language translation (in fact, the field of natural language processing — teaching computers how to understand natural human languages — now mainly concerns machine learning). With this in mind, here are some of the best prompting tools to use when navigating the potentially daunting task of learning a new language from scratch.
Section 1: Specific But Powerful
This first section encapsulates the tools that are used in more niche scenarios; they may be powerful, but not necessarily common. When it comes to a ranking structure, these would comprise the lower five tools.
10: Example Essays
The first sample prompt could be useful, but it might not be immediately obvious why. While generating sample essays to simply turn in as assignments does not help with language learning, using them as guides and markers for what is expected can be useful when starting out. For instance, understanding what is considered appropriate diction, sentence flow, and structure for an essay can be difficult in a foreign language. Using responses from ChatGPT — which is exposed to at least hundreds of foreign language articles, and can thus emulate the style — can definitely serve as a useful tool to help in this respect. Here is the link to the prompt tool.
This tool can also be used by teachers assigning essays. Including some easily-generated sample essays can provide a tangible guideline of what standard is expected, all the while taking very little time.
9: Assignment Generator
An assignment generator can be used for multiple scenarios. The most obvious is if a teacher or instructor needs to quickly acquire inspiration for an assignment or produce the entirety of an assignment altogether. However, this tool may be even more useful for self-taught language learners. Though the internet has no shortage of practice for language learning, it may be difficult to create creative assignments that match a specific threshold of difficulty. Additionally, if the subject in question is a less-spoken language, then users may find the prompt tool a good bank for assignment ideas. Here is the link to the prompt tool.
Below you can find an example of what these assignment ideas could look like. As it can be seen below, the prompt is customized for a particular scenario. The interface used below is ChatGPT, though users can find similar responses on Lowtech AI (where the prompts are provided).
INPUT: Generate a list of random assignment ideas covering the day of the dead .
OUTPUT: Certainly! Here's a list of random assignment ideas covering the Day of the Dead theme:
- Research Paper: Write a research paper exploring the historical origins and cultural significance of the Day of the Dead in different regions around the world.
- Art Project: Create a mixed media art piece inspired by the Day of the Dead, incorporating traditional elements such as sugar skulls, marigolds, and vibrant colors.
- Photography Exhibition: Capture a series of photographs that depict the preparations, celebrations, and symbolism of the Day of the Dead in your community or a nearby location.
- Recipe Collection: Compile a collection of traditional recipes associated with the Day of the Dead, including dishes like pan de muerto (bread of the dead) and sugar skull cookies. Include a brief description of the cultural significance of each dish.
- Cultural Comparison: Compare and contrast the Day of the Dead with other cultural festivals or traditions related to honoring and remembering the deceased, such as the Qingming Festival in China or All Saints' Day in Europe.
- Short Film: Create a short film that tells a fictional or documentary-style story centered around the Day of the Dead. It could explore themes of family, remembrance, or the blending of the living and the dead.
- Community Event Planning: Plan and organize a Day of the Dead celebration in your community, including activities like altar displays, traditional music and dance performances, and educational workshops on the holiday's significance.
- Children's Book: Write and illustrate a children's book that introduces young readers to the Day of the Dead in an engaging and culturally sensitive way.
- Fashion Design: Design a clothing or accessory collection inspired by the Day of the Dead, incorporating traditional motifs and colors while offering a modern and wearable interpretation.
- Comparative Literature Analysis: Compare and analyze literary works that explore the themes of life, death, and remembrance, such as "Like Water for Chocolate" by Laura Esquivel and "The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman, in relation to the Day of the Dead.
Remember to choose an assignment that aligns with your interests and allows you to delve deeper into the rich cultural traditions of the Day of the Dead.
8: Explain a Concept
The classic “explain a concept” prompt is quite useful in almost any field. Though it is more applicable to subjects with conceptually complex ideas like science and math, grammars of many languages contain similarly confusing elements that can be better deciphered with the tool. Here is the link to the prompt tool.
The best part of this specific prompt is its customizability. Users can include phrases like “explain this like I’m a kindergartener” to facilitate the process of understanding complex texts. They can also take advantage of follow up prompts to ask subsequent questions to clarify or dive deeper into a particular part of the explanation.
7: Multimedia Recommendation Generator
Whether it be getting started or maintaining a consistent learning schedule, staying motivated is key to learning any language at a high level. The ugly truth of the matter is that without instructors and classes forcing students to stay engaged with the coursework, it can be extremely easy to drift apart from the language entirely. Therefore, using multimedia like videos, books, or movies can be especially helpful for language learners, as well as teachers hoping to foster an enthusiastic learning environment and keep the class engaged. Again, here is the prompt tool.
6: Design a Lesson Plan
Like the previous example, this one is best meant for teachers and self-learners. The tool itself is also seemingly straightforward, but highly important. Structure is everything when learning a new subject, and language learning is no exception. Generative AI tools are trained on what is effectively the whole internet, so when generating a lesson plan, the AI will be aware of current conventions and research pertaining to structure in language learning. So when responses are generated, they are typically high quality and catered to pave an engaging yet effective language-learning journey. As always, here is the prompt tool.
Section 2: Good Universal Tools
This section contains the five best tools for learning a new language. This means that these prompts do not apply to only one demographic or situation, but rather can be used by anyone hoping to master their skills in interlingual communication, regardless how far they are.
5: Reading Comprehension Generator
The title of the prompt tool can be pretty self-explanatory. Admittedly, there are tons of comprehension resources available online for any language; just search up a newspaper or online article! However, those sources are often catered to a native-speaking audience, which may be unsuitable for beginners. Additionally, they seldom offer translations or sufficient questions to check if the reader understood the meaning behind each sentence. Using a prompt like this one can offer ways to solve both issues. For this prompt, it is best to copy the prompt from Lowtech AI (via Show Prompt) and adjust it directly.
4: Grammar Enhancer
When learning a language, it can be difficult finding a voice or style of writing. Additionally, it may be difficult finding a way to improve one’s writing without attending office hours and meeting with teachers, which might not be convenient (or even possible) for many learners. To this end, grammar enhancers can be extremely useful. Enhancers enable one to retain their own style but improve aspects of it to create a stronger sense of fluency. They can be especially useful in professional settings, where learners need to communicate to others in a clear, understandable way. Again, here is the prompt tool.
3 and 2: Grammar and Connotation Checkers
Grammar and connotation checkers are similar to enhancers, except they do not go the extra step of making revisions. Grammar checkers check grammar, while connotation checkers check phrase choice and word choice. Neither, however, should provide solutions. Though this may seem like a disadvantage on the tool’s end, when it comes to language learning, the more work the student can do by themselves, the better. By merely pointing out the mistake and forcing the learner to find a solution to it themselves, these tools allow the learner to internalize the mistake as well as correct alternatives. Of course, these tools can be used in conjunction with grammar enhancers: for instance, once a student learns of a problem through a checker tool and addresses it themselves, they may want to feed the original text into a grammar enhancer to compare their revision with the chatbot’s revision. Regardless, grammar and connotation checkers function great by themselves as well. Here are links to the grammar and connotation checkers respectively.
1: Conversation Generator
So far all of these tools have covered the same aspects of language learning: reading and writing. However, they by no means cover the entirety of a language. When it comes to real life applications, arguably the most important part is communicating with actual native speakers. This means real-time interpersonal communication (speaking and listening). Though at the moment AI struggles to mimic and detect phonetic complexities that are inherent within speech, a conversation can still be emulated through text. Chatbots were quite literally made to tackle such a situation. Here is a link to a foreign language chatbot prompt. As mentioned in the prompt instructions, the customizability of generative AI enable the conversation to take place in a restaurant, birthday party, or whatever scenario would most benefit the student’s learning experience.
Indeed, there are a ton of prompts to use for language learning. And although ten useful prompts were provided in this article, there are an infinite number available to use, many of which can be engineered on the spot to address a highly specific issue. One caveat is that there may be errors in responses. Even though these AI models are complex, fine-tuned, and trained on trillions of bytes of data, they are ultimately imperfect. They create sentences just by predicting the most likely word that would occur in a given scenario. That said, AI is still in its early stages, and with more years of development and a larger network of prompt engineers, there’s no telling what it could contribute to language learning in the near future.