It’s been a really long time since I posted an entry, and if any of you wonder why, well you should know that teachers have very little time for themselves and, believe it or not, this is the only thing I enjoy doing when I have just a few minutes.
Going back to the main topic here, chat bots are a great help for language teachers and learners, since they can not only practise writing, but also improve their reading skill and broaden their vocabulary to express themselves; they can learn from the bot responses without getting worried about time or conversational issues. I had already recommended a chat bot called EGON in previous posts, but as I went on looking for more and more options online, I realized that there are LOTS of different kinds of chat bots, going from the very simple ones basically meant to be used by language teachers and students to the funniest and even inappropriate ones (so be very careful when using them in class or even tell your students about them).
These are the ones I have found so far:
- There are several options here for you depending on what you wanna talk about, just be careful because there are also “only-adult” types too. The good thing about this site is that the creator has a GREAT sense of humor lol, you can really get to forget that you’re chatting with a bot, there are plenty of topics you can talk about with this one but the owner’s sarcastic way is immediately perceived. http://www.sensationbot.com/
- You chat with this girl by typing your message. She gives sensible answers mostly. You can also play games with her. Her general knowledge is quite impressive.
- This one is very easy to use but it does take a while to get the responses, it’s very similar to EGON. http://lauren.vhost.pandorabots.com/pandora/talk?botid=f6d4afd83e34564d
- I like this one because even if it takes a while on loading, sending and replying, it keeps a log of every conversation; you can see it all after you finish it, email it to a friend or even see the time when you send or receive every message. People can also add an emotion or reaction to every message and if you work this with your students, they can print theit conversation (or read and print someone else’s), then discuss the topics with their classmates. http://www.jabberwacky.com/
- Here you can find information about an annual worldwide chatbot contest where you could find even better options and information about how to use them. http://www.chatterboxchallenge.com/
- This is one of the best chatbots which has won the CHATTERBOX CHALLENGE several times. http://www.elbot.com/
- I personally like this one because it’s an “ESL tutor”, it’s not properly a chatbot since you cannot really make questions or have a “chat” with it, but it does give you several options about specific situations and sample conversations about those situations, it does also count with the audio of such conversations so you can use them in class or even recommend it to your students to study at home on their own if they have internet access. http://www.eslfast.com/robot/
- This is a list of chatbots and other variants. http://www.chatbots.org/chatbot/
Well there are plenty of these things online, you can also make your own, but it does take a lot of time, believe me I tried to do it, but if you have much more spare time than me, then you should try it, that way you would control better what your students read and base all the bot responses on what you’re currently working on in class. Good luck with that if you actually do it!