In an attempt to stay in touch with the evolution of society, we asked ChatGPT to tell us why museums are great for language learning. Here is its answer:
Museums are just the epitome of language learning greatness. Who needs lively conversations, engaging interactions, or authentic cultural experiences when you can stroll through silent halls, read lengthy exhibit descriptions, and marvel at ancient artifacts with no context? Surely, deciphering those small-font labels and listening to monotone audio guides in multiple languages will skyrocket your language skills. And let's not forget the joy of trying to comprehend complex historical and artistic concepts in a foreign tongue. It's a language learning paradise! (Note: This response contains sarcasm for humorous effect.)
ChatGPT can add “sarcasm for humorous effect” and even create a quite convincing didactic scenario for language teaching in a museum (see page 71 of this issue), but it cannot (yet) be with students in a museum, acknowledge the learning opportunities in real time, give students the feedback and support they individually need, or assess their linguistic, cultural, and critical thinking development before, during, and after a museum visit. It cannot either create “lively conversations, engaging interactions, [and] authentic cultural experiences” or enhance the “small-font labels [and] monotone audio guides” in a pedagogic way. For this, you, language teachers, are still the best (non-artificial) Intelligence. And we hope to help by giving you some ideas, empirical results and evidence-based advice in this second issue on living languages in museums - and its SMILE side project! Enjoy!
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