Supporting Speaking Practice by Social Network-Based Interaction in Artificial Intelligence (AI)-Assisted Language Learning

Bin Zou*, Xin Guan, Yinghua Shao, Peng Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


In recent decades, the rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI) technology has led to the increasing use of AI speaking apps in foreign language learning. This research investigates the impact of social network-based interaction on students’ English speaking practice with the assistance of AI speaking apps in China. During the summer vacation, 70 students from different Chinese universities and majors were recruited for the experiment. They were required to practice speaking skills with AI apps for five weeks and were divided into two groups. Participants in the experimental group were encouraged to engage in various interactive activities when practicing speaking with AI apps, while those in the control group were asked to use AI speaking apps without interaction. Data were collected through questionnaires and semi-structured interviews as well as pre-and post-tests. The results indicated that students generally held positive attitudes towards interactive activities when using AI apps to practice their spoken English. The finding also showed that social network-based interaction can effectively improve learners’ speaking skills in the AI context. This study contributes to the research on the implementation and promotion of AI speaking apps with social networking and extends the previous studies on network-based interaction to the AI-assisted learning environment. An investigation of interactions based on Chinese social network-based platforms such as WeChat can be further applied to other social networking platforms such as Facebook or WhatsApp in different cultural contexts for AI-assisted speaking practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2872
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • artificial intelligence (AI)
  • English as a foreign language (EFL)
  • interaction
  • mobile-assisted language learning (MALL)
  • speaking
  • speech evaluation system


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