Marist College (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2020 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 1092-1100
ISBN: 978-84-09-17939-8
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2020.0391
Conference name: 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2020
Location: Valencia, Spain
Companies such as Amazon, Google, and Apple are heavily investing in research and development of voice-based conversational language interfaces. Platforms based on Conversational User Interfaces (CUIs) such as Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri have seen rapid advances in the scope of functionality and skills they are capable of across a variety of languages. As users are able to complete more meaningful tasks with these tools in multiple languages, they have the ability to move away from traditional interactions (e.g., using voice commands to carry out task-based instructions such as turning on lights, ordering items online, and playing music) and increasingly consider interacting with their devices with the purpose of practicing a second language.

Understanding the benefits of the multilingual abilities of these platforms and devices, as well as the current limitations, is essential in order to develop meaningful language learning tasks with CUIs. This paper provides a comparative overview of the multilingual capabilities of Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant, and Apple’s Siri and provides a discussion of current and potential educational applications for second language learning and acquisition.
Innovation, technology, conversational user interfaces, second language skills.