by Katherine Continente

In the spring edition of the IH Journal, Mark Fohrman introduced an insightful exploration into the integration of ChatGPT in the field of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) education. ChatGPT is a form of generative AI, a class of artificial intelligence models capable of generating new data based on learned patterns and structures from existing data (Ray, 2023). Fohrman's paper highlighted its significant potential, particularly in language practice and speaking exercises, revealing its transformative impact on pedagogical enhancement. Inspired by Fohrman's contribution and my interest in AI in education, this article focuses on the applications of AI, specifically in assisting educators in managing writing assignments in classroom settings and homework assessments. Personally, this approach substantially improved my efficiency and effectiveness as a professional ESL teacher.

Artificial intelligence (AI) natural language processing (NLP) systems, like OpenAI's generative pre-trained transformer (GPT) model or Meta's Galactica, may soon find widespread use in various forms of writing, including scientific and scholarly publications (Heaven, 2022). This development is not surprising, given the explosive growth in technology in recent years. The implication of this in ESL teaching is that the integration of AI in the classroom, particularly in writing instruction, offers teachers numerous opportunities for enhanced planning, implementation (e.g., through instant feedback and teacher intervention), and assessment (e.g., through automated essay scoring), as demonstrated in a recent study by Celik et al. (2022).


Situation A: You've made the strategic decision to implement a flipped classroom approach with your B1 adult students. They have been assigned the task of self-guided study differentiating between Present Simple and Present Continuous tenses, drawing upon the grammar resources located at the back of their textbooks. Students engage in collaborative writing exercises about Taylor Swift, employing the target grammar rules. If you are given the choice, would you rather provide real-time feedback - which equates to more rapid learning and perhaps, improvement, - or take the essays home to check them one by one; by the time you hand them back it’s time to move on to the next unit?

Situation B: In your teenage C2 exam preparation class, the students have submitted their first essay assignment, requiring them to summarize and critically assess two texts on environmental themes. In previous discussions, your students have acknowledged the challenge they face in maintaining a formal tone in their writing. You have organized peer feedback, which is ideal because students learn from each other. You want to identify all the informal expressions used in their essays as well as provide help in developing critical and analytical skills. If you could offload some routine assessment tasks to AI, would you?

Tools and Resources

To navigate these scenarios effectively , you can leverage various AI-driven tools that are practical and suitable for the classroom environment, with a preference for mobile and tablet-friendly solutions over desktop applications. Key tools include:

1. Handwriting to Text Conversion: This tool is invaluable when students submit handwritten essays. Noteworthy options for this purpose include Microsoft OneNote, Adobe Scan, Tesseract OCR, and, for this tutorial, Google Lens.

2. AI Models: Among the numerous AI models available, my preference is for ChatGPT by OpenAI. Its versatility and proficiency in natural language processing make it an ideal choice for these educational scenarios.


Step 1: Access ChatGPT and formulate precise prompts. Ensure that your instructions are clear and unambiguous, as AI provides accurate responses to well-defined requests.

Step 2: Use Google Lens to scan and extract the text from the handwritten essays or texts. Note that the accuracy of the app may be influenced by the legibility of the students' handwriting. Encourage them to write clearly, as this will aid the examiner (especially if they are exam candidates) in better comprehension. Subsequently, paste the extracted text into ChatGPT for analysis and feedback.

Step 3: Frame specific questions or provide clear commands when using ChatGPT. This will help you receive targeted and meaningful responses.

Step 4: Select sentences that are appropriate for delivering targeted feedback. Identify sentences that highlight specific language issues or areas requiring improvement, as well as items deserving positive feedback, within the essays or texts you are evaluating.

Step 5: Feel free to inquire for additional information regarding the data or essays you're assessing.

Some useful Prompts

With AI tools like ChatGPT, the quality of the output depends greatly on the quality not only of the input supplied to the AI, but also on the quality of the prompts you use. Here are some examples of strong prompts that will yield useful output:

  • Identify + suggest improvements for unnatural sentence construction.
  • List informal expressions + provide formal alternatives
  • Find all misspelled words
  • List all grammar errors related to perfect tenses / subject-verb agreement/pluralisation/articles
  • Identify vocabulary at or above B1 level
    [insert target vocabulary/grammar]. Rank from most to least frequently used
    Evaluate these essays based on the following criteria [insert criteria]

A Word of Caution

Acknowledging the inherent limitations and associated concerns of AI, including data privacy and potential inaccuracies in responses, is crucial. Responsible AI usage is paramount, and there must be a steadfast commitment to avoiding the sharing of private or personal information.


In an era marked by the widespread adoption of artificial intelligence, educators must adapt to and embrace technological advancements, supported by both speculations and facts. This adaptation involves harnessing AI to streamline the feedback process for writing assignments, ultimately saving valuable time while preserving the essential aspects of teaching. AI's ability to provide real-time assistance, including sentence extraction and identifying common errors for both positive and corrective feedback, promotes more efficient instruction. Nevertheless, a vigilant approach to potential drawbacks and risks is essential. When used judiciously, AI empowers educators to augment their efficiency and effectiveness within the classroom environment.


Celik, I. et al. (2022) 'The Promises and Challenges of Artificial Intelligence for Teachers: a Systematic Review of Research,' TechTrends, 66(4), pp. 616–630.

Heaven, W.D. (2022) 'Why Meta’s latest large language model survived only three days online,' MIT Technology Review, 22 November.

Ray, P.P. (2023) 'ChatGPT: A comprehensive review on background, applications, key challenges, bias, ethics, limitations and future scope,' Internet of Things and Cyber-physical Systems, 3, pp. 121–154.

Author Biography

Katherine, an IH educator in Huelva, Spain, instructs a diverse range of students, including Young Learners, Exam Candidates, and adults, spanning various CEFR proficiency levels. She aims to finish her Master's in Applied Linguistics and TESOL this year. Beyond her academic pursuits, Katherine enjoys archery and fishing, fostering a strong bond with the natural world while relishing the excitement of landing prized catches during her leisure time.