AI for Language Learners by Rich West-Soley; ChatGPT, Bing and more for your languages study

AI for Language Learners – Book Now Available!

It was a labour of love that happily took up most of my summer, and it’s finally out! I’m very chuffed to announce that my book AI for Language Learners is available on all Amazon stores.


The book is the product of months of tweaking, prodding and experimenting with emerging AI chat platforms. If you’re a Polyglossic regular, you’ll have seen some of those nascent techniques appear on the blog as I’ve developed and used them in my own learning. The blog has been a bedding ground for those first book ideas, and I’m thankful to everyone who has followed along with my own AI journey.

What we’ve come to call AI are, strictly speaking, actually large language models (LLMs). These LLMs arise from billions of words of training material – truly staggering amounts of data. The resulting super-text machines are perfect matches for subjects that benefit from a creative flair with words, and as language learners, wordplay is our currency. The book contains over 50 rich prompts for getting the absolute most out of AI’s impressive capacity for it.

The process has been huge fun. Of course, that’s thanks largely to the often unintentional humour our non-sentient friends ChatGPT, Bing and others. I try to get this across in the book, which has its fair share of lighthearted moments.

I hope you have as many smiles trying the recipes out as I did putting them together!

AI for Language Learners is available on Amazon Kindle (UK £2.99, US $2.99) or in paperback (UK £7.99, US $7.99). Even better: if you’re a Kindle Unlimited member, you can download and read it as part of your subscription.

A vocabulary learning plan generated by AI (Bing chat).

AI Prompts for Language Lesson Prep

I’ve talked previously about the importance of doing prep work for your iTalki and other one-to-one language lessons. Well, AI platforms just make that a lot easier (and free!).

You can generate mini ‘schemes of work’ that are matched precisely to the topics you are studying. With the proliferation of big name, public access AI platforms like Bing and ChatGPT, it’s easier than ever to support your learning in these incredibly tailored ways.

Sample Prompt

The best way to see just how useful this is, is to dive right in. Here’s a ready-made prompt to try with your chatbot of choice; simply change the language, topic and level to suit:

In a week’s time, I have an Italian conversation lesson on the topic of “Renewable Energy”. Could you please create some materials for me to prepare for it? I am level A2 in the language, so the language level of the materials should match that. I’d like:

– a vocabulary of up to 20 words and phrases relevant to the topic, with sample sentences (nouns, verbs, adjectives)
– some questions and answers modelling opinions on the topic using the vocabulary
– a brief introductory paragraph on the topic, again using the vocabulary
– a learning plan for the week

Tip: if your AI stops part of the way through (these outputs can be long!), just type Please continue and it will carry on spooling.

The final output will be a mini workbook-style guide to the topic, with vocab, discourse modelling, and reading practice. I like to paste mine into a text document, then export it as a PDF to read on my phone or tablet when I’m out and about. Here’s that sample Italian one (truncated to 10 items for brevity!):

Italian – Renewable Energy Topic Plan (PDF)

Learning instantly organised, in just a few clicks!

It’s All About You…

Experiment with that sample prompt to get exactly the kind of output that works specifically for you. For instance, you could tailor the output much more closely to your own circumstances by adding something like:

Please relate the material to recent developments in X/Y/Z.

…where X/Y/Z is your town, your field, your related interests. The sky really is the limit.

And a note of advice: when you find a prompt that works like a charm, save it in a note somewhere. It could become your go-to resource for future language learning.

Happy prompting!