The Korean Association for the Study of English Language and Linguistics

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Korean Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 21

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Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 21, No. 0, pp.375-391
Abbreviation: KASELL
ISSN: 1598-1398 (Print) 2586-7474 (Online)
Received 23 Mar 2021 Revised 20 Apr 2021 Accepted 25 Apr 2021

Exploring the Use of An Artificial Intelligence Chatbot as Second Language Conversation Partners
Dongkwang Shin ; Heyoung Kim ; Jang Ho Lee ; Hyejin Yang
(1st author) Professor, Gwangju National Univ. of Education (
(corresponding author) Professor, Chung-Ang Univ. (
(co-author) Professor, Chung-Ang Univ. (
(co-author) Researcher, Chung-Ang Univ. (

© 2021 KASELL All rights reserved
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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This study investigated the appropriateness of using artificially intelligent chatbots as conversation partners for second language (L2) learners. 27 Korean high school and 26 college students had a task-oriented conversation with a text-based chatbot, Mitsuku, for 20 minutes. Chat log data were collected and analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively in terms of the quantity of students’ utterances and their vocabulary levels, along with the degree of conversation task success between the chatbot and its users. Both groups finished their tasks, successfully developing conversations with the chatbot and producing double the expected minimum quantity of utterances, although their performances varied individually. Mitsuku’s vocabulary was deemed appropriate for L2 learners' proficiency. The college students used conversational strategies more appropriately than their high school counterparts. Nevertheless, a sentiment analysis showed that the high school students enjoyed talking with Mitsuku to a greater extent than the college students. These results suggest that the chatbot offers L2 learners substantial opportunities as a conversation partner.

Keywords: Artificial Intelligence (AI), chatbot, Mitsuku, conversation task, vocabulary level, task success rate, sentiment analysis, Orange 3.28.0


This work was supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2018S1A5A2A03037255).

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