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Content-Based English Learning through Pedagogical Agents
English Teaching (2006)
  • Yanghee Kim, Utah State University
  • P. Punahm
  • Y. Ko
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.
  • CALL,
  • computer-assisted language learning,
  • content-based learning,
  • English learning,
  • pedagogical agents,
  • language learning,
  • embodied conversational agents,
  • ESL,
  • EFL,
  • virtual peers,
  • animated characters,
  • Virtual agents,
  • Agent design
Publication Date
January 1, 2006
Publisher Statement
The flag journal of the Korean research community of Teaching English as a Foreign Language
Citation Information
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).