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Language Learning by Using ChatGPT. A Holistic and Interactive Approach

Before ChatGPT, voice assistants such as Alexa were mostly there for preprogrammed answers such as Turn on the lights, what’s the weather today? Now, we are able to learn anything including languages using prompt engineering. This story is about How-so?

Language learning chatgpt prompt engineering

With ChatGPT, the reality field of what’s possible has vastly been distorted.

Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, himself said that he wouldn’t expect this hypergrowth of the capability of AI through LLM (large language models), and as one of the creators of this new technological era, he was surprisingly pleased.

As ChatGPT has a basis of a large language model that collects, connects, and analyzes the entire internet as trillions of data pools and uses supercomputers to come up with new ideas connecting those dots in its vast neural network, one word at a time, much like a binary method of 1s and 0s as how the computers work in the backend, the best thing to learn using ChatGPT could be language.

The Content of This Story

  • How to Best Learn a Language Using ChatGPT

  • A General Approach to How Language Learning Actually Works

  • The Main Principles of How to Use ChatGPT for Language Learning

  • The Basic Concepts to Use in Creating the Structured Plan

  • Prompting the Structured Plan. Your First Step to Interactively Learning Any Language

  • The Prompt for Language-Learning Structured Plan

  • What’s Next?

How to Best Learn a Language Using ChatGPT

The best way to learn or do anything is with a structured plan that has flexibility within.

Language learning chatgpt prompt engineering concise structured plan

This is where prompt engineering becomes involved using ChatGPT.

We need to create the right prompt that is detailed, precise, and concise.

Everyone’s learning path can vary, therefore, it is good if everyone creates their custom structured plan.
However, I will create a structured plan so that you can add your approach to it.

A General Approach to How Language Learning Actually Works

Holistic Approach

Holistic comes to mean making a collective approach, considering all the angles possible, and not skipping any part.

Language learning chatgpt prompt engineering holistic approach

With respect to language learning, the holistic approach contains a thorough approach of learning from the basics to more advanced vocabulary, grammar, and phrases all together while being tested and feeling immersed into the language and culture.

Pareto Rule

The Pareto Rule, often referred to as the “80/20 rule,” is a principle that suggests that roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

Language learning chatgpt prompt engineering pareto rule approach

This rule is named after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who observed this pattern in wealth distribution, where approximately 20% of the population owned about 80% of the wealth.

In the language context, the Pareto rule may be applied and emphasized so that the most important 20% part of the vocabulary, grammar, and phrases are first learned.


The best way to learn is by making any new experience built like a game of having fun while learning a new subject.

Language learning chatgpt prompt engineering gamification
Gamification applied by Duolingo, the leading language learning app.

For learning a language, gamification can be made through creating natural conversations, creating challenges and competitions, celebrating new levels as the student makes progress, and role-playing through dialogs, cultural interactions, and flash cards.


The Main Principles of How to Use ChatGPT for Language Learning

One Conversation at a Time. Create a main file (or I rather like to call it a conversation)

Structured Plan to Learn Anything. Create a detailed, precise and concise structured plan prompt.

The Full Conversation is Kept in Memory. ChatGPT remembers the entirety of the conversation. Therefore, as you create the main structure, you can still play around and ask for more information on a particular matter or repeat a certain subject, and then, ask to go to the next class.

Use Natural Language. The idea is to use simple words and express yourself to get the desired results. Following the main structured plan prompt, you can be more flexible and ask with natural and simple language such as repeat this exercise, give more examples, I didn’t understand this such and such, how does x work, etc.

Language learning chatgpt prompt engineering approach

ChatGPT is a Child Prodigy to be Trained. Think like you have the best assistant in the world for free on the other side of your keyboard. However, GPT gives as good results as you train it to be.

Use Voice Plug-ins or the New GPT 4 Voice Feature. Pronunciation and listening is a major part of learning a new language. You can use the “Voicewave” and/or “Voice Control for GPT” Chrome plug-ins to integrate voice into your ChatGPT language learning experience.


The Basic Concepts to Use in Creating the Structured Plan

  • Top 100 Vocabulary, Phrases presented with a table starting from the beginner's level using a table that has its translation in the 2nd column.

  • Translate. Each new vocabulary, phrase, dialog, and practice has its translation next to it.

  • Examples. Teaching words and phrases with examples and cases.

  • Start Grammar with the Basics. Teaching grammar from the beginning with conjugations considering the level of the student.

  • Common Case Examples. Create dialogs or conversations with common cases

  • Learning the Culture. Teach and give examples of the history and culture of the country

  • Gamification at Play. As part of the gamification, use flashcards, fill-in-the-blanks, short stories, role-play dialogs, and multiple-choice quizzes.

  • One Word Training. Entering one-word prompts to create the next step such as repeat, more, or next.

Prompting the Structured Plan. Your First Step to Interactively Learning Any Language

Using all the basic concepts I mentioned above, let’s create our first prompt. In my case, that would be for Italian, but you can write for any language.

We will use the main structure of task, context, examples, persona, format, and tone prompting structure to build the best language course possible.

The Prompt for Language-Learning Structured Plan

Create an Italian (X) language course which will have a 6-month duration. starting from the very beginning. Each daily class will consist of half-hour classes.

Make a holistic approach and teach vocabulary, grammar, and common phrases from the beginning of the course. Create conversations for each class about a common case or cultural interaction such as food or arts.

Use gamification and diversify it by providing flashcards, fill-in-the-blanks, role-play, and short stories before the end of each class.

Create quizzes or multiple-choice exams at the end of each class. Each new word or part is to be translated into the native language of the user.

Let the student create one-word prompts such as repeat: to repeat the class with different examples, more: elaborate the class further, next: move on to the next class.

Here is the structured plan that ChatGPT created using the prompt I entered above

Language learning chatgpt prompt engineering structured plan language course

How is the Italian Course Initial Experience and Performance?

I have already studied the Italian course for a day with the above-structured plan made through the first prompt.

I simply started the course by typing: Start, on the GPT browser version.

I finished 7 classes already in a day. It is fun, insightful and flexible.

Language learning chatgpt prompt engineering course content 1

Using the Browser Version. 1. As prompted in the structured plan, GPT created a fill-in-the-blanks section to test my vocabulary. 2. As I typed the answers, it gave me feedback and returned with the right words completing the sentences. Therefore, performed as trained.

Language learning chatgpt prompt engineering course content 2

Using the ChatGPT app; 3. Entered Next to move onto the next class, which was class 7 and it did. It summed up what I will learn and practice and started with the class as planned. 4. During the Class-7, GPT asked if I wanted to explore more and I entered “Explore”. Then, it started with the basic verbs and how they are conjugated.

In my experience, the structured plan made it perform really well, but it can always be better.

The idea with ChatGPT is that it doesn’t end with the first major prompt, but it is a continuous dialog.

For instance, if you are not happy with something, you can just interact with GPT by saying: from now on, do this (y) and don’t do (y) and it will correct, adjust, and move on keeping your latest prompt in mind.


What’s Next?

This is just an example of how you can create your own custom language course so that you can interactively learn any language you like.

You can copy and paste the above-structured plan prompt I created or use it as an inspiration and add your own method or path to learning a language.

As you create the structured plan that ChatGPT will follow, you can start the course by prompting: Start with the 1st class and keep studying the language daily by entering: Next.

If you want a different exercise, you can ask GPT directly throughout the course. For instance, you can say: Use these words (the words learned in the last entry) in a cultural dialog or create a flash card of these words using a table format.

Then, as the results you want are created, you can write the prompt: Next — to go to the next class.

The best way to learn anything is to spend time, play around, and interact with it. That’s also the case with how ChatGPT works and how we learn anything including languages.

The best time to start is now and when we start and learn the game, it becomes really fun as becomes more and more natural.

Now, learning a language using AI is possible when we wouldn’t even be able to dream of it only a year ago.


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