ChatGPT and Generative AI for Language Teachers

Summer 2024 Mini-Course in AI Literacy

June 10-July 19 and July 15-August 16; online

This is not (just) a course about all the cool things you can do with ChatGPT; it’s a course about gaining the literacy needed to be an informed user and leader in this new age of generative AI, both in your language classroom and on your campus.

Keeping up with the speed of emerging technologies like generative AI presents ​unprecedented challenges across all levels of higher education, including in foreign language classrooms. The goal of this course is to help language instructors develop the knowledge and proficiency needed to determine the appropriate and effective use of generative AI tools in their teaching and by their students, and to become active agents in the conversation about AI use at their institutions.

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By participating in this course, language instructors will:

  • develop a functional understanding of how ChatGPT and other generative AI tools work, and how what happens behind the scenes affects appropriate use in instructional settings.
  • examine university and course policies regarding appropriate use of generative AI tools regarding issues like privacy, accessibility, and academic integrity, particularly in language courses.
  • explore the impact ‘prompt engineering’ has on ChatGPT output.
  • gain hands-on experience using generative AI for a wide range of administrative and pedagogical tasks, including materials development, task design, assessment, and feedback.
  • evaluate the pedagogical strengths and weaknesses of generative AI tools within various aspects of language teaching and learning.

This online course will combine asynchronous course content and assignments with weekly synchronous meetings.

  • Session 1: June 10-July 19
    • Synchronous meetings on Wednesdays, 1:00-3:00pm Central
  • Session 2: July 15-August 16
    • Synchronous meetings on Thursdays, 1:00-3:00pm Central
    • This session is condensed slightly in order to finish before the start of fall semester. Course content and objectives will be unchanged.

Course content will include readings, video mini-lectures, hands-on practice, and discussion assignments. The course will culminate with an annotated portfolio project where participants will use practical examples to explain their views on the appropriate and effective use of generative AI in language teaching.

  • Registration: $500 for graduate students, $750 for professionals
  • Textbook: $25
  • AI tools: this course will focus on free versions of generative AI tools, since that is what instructors and students are most likely to use. However, a short-term purchase of a license for ChatGPT-Plus ($20/mo) or other premium generative AI tools can help learners experience what more powerful tools are capable of.

Cancellation policy:

  • Session 1: Cancel before May 25: full refund. On or after May 25: 50% refund.
  • Session 2: Cancel before June 15: full refund, minus Eventbrite fees (approx. 7% of registration cost). On or after June 15: 50% refund, minus Eventbrite fees.
Target Audience
  • Pre-service or in-service language instructors or administrators at the university level. K-12 educators are welcome to join, but young students will have a different set of security and privacy concerns that will not be addressed in this course.
  • No experience with generative AI tools is required. Participants with general familiarity or basic proficiency are welcome. 
  • Instructors of any second or foreign language are welcome. Please note that these tools may have limited functionality in some languages, but a) that should improve over time, and b) it will still be valuable to learn more about these tools, even if they handle your target language poorly.
About the Instructor

Nicholas Swinehart is the Managing Director of Instructional Technology at the University of Chicago Nicholas SwinehartLanguage Center, where he supports instructors of over fifty languages with technology use and professional development. He is co-editor of the February, 2024 CALICO Journal special issue on social media for language learning and is co-author of Teaching Languages in Blended Synchronous Classrooms: A Practical Guide (2020).


Register via the courses’ Eventbrite pages. The registration deadline is May 1, 2024, or when all 16 seats are filled.

Register for Session 1, June 10-July 19 Register for Session 2, July 15-August 16

Questions? Contact Nick Swinehart at