Content-Based English Learning through PedagogicalAgents
This paper suggests how an advanced technology called pedagogical agents can be applied to English education to benefit learners across ages through computer-assisted language learning (CALL) and content-based language learning (CBLL). CALL, when designed appropriately, has positively influenced the development of a learner’s linguistic proficiency and communicative competence (Chun, 1994; Fotos & Browne, 2004). CBLL integrates language learning with subject-matter learning to make language learning more meaningful (Snow, 2001; Swain, 1998). However, the conventional CALL programs are often criticized for the lacking a social context, considered essential for successful language learning (Warschauer, 2004). Also, CBLL seems rarely applied to EFL contexts, especially Korean English Education, mainly due to the lack of resources. Pedagogical agents (PAs), defined as animated life-like characters embedded in computer-based applications, might be able to overcome those constraints. Given the similarity between human/computer interaction and human-to-human interaction in the real world (Reeves & Nass, 1996), PAs can be designed to emulate social interaction and play simulated instructional roles, through which learners may find learning English engaging and relevant.
Kim, Y., Punahm, P., & Ko, Y. (2006). Content-based English learning through pedagogical agents. English Teaching, 61(04), 229-246. The flag journal of the Korean research community of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL).