IMAGINE: 5 ACTIVITIES FOR LANGUAGE STUDENTS

AI Art Generators for Language Students

Last Friday, I presented a number of ideas, concepts, approaches, and tools at the AI for Teaching & Learning webinar hosted by Gallery Teachers.

We had an absolutely amazing discussion, exploring the potential of AI transformation, creativity, new approaches to teaching and learning with AI tools, implications for course books and materials design, and some practical activities that may be used in the classroom. I would like to take a moment to thank the hosts and participants for insightful contributions and for making this event so useful.

During the webinar, I was asked about some classroom AI-assisted activities so I thought it would be a good idea to continue the discussion and present a few classroom activities with AI art generators that may be a nice addition to our teacher toolkit.

Why Use AI Art Generators

In addition to all the reasons we can give to explain why using images is beneficial for language learners, AI art generators offer specific benefits that can be attributed to the nature of these text-to-image models:

  • Urging learners to think in the most extraordinary and creative ways in the target language: AI art generators give learners an opportunity to visualise their ideas and concepts in a new and engaging way, stimulating their imagination and encouraging them to think more creatively; 
  • Learners gain an understanding of the meanings and nuances within their own writing: Oftentimes, one word may literally change the whole picture;
  • Critical thinking: To get the desired output, learners need to reflect and think deeply about the intended meaning behind their own written text,

in and through the target language.

Additionally, there are two general benefits of AI art generators compared to traditional drawing activities (that are also needed in the classroom!):

  • Equity: We do not need to worry about the ‘drawing’ skills of our learners, and they can express themselves without feeling shy or necessarily having any drawing skills.

  • Meaningful time investment: It takes 5 seconds to generate or regenerate an image. So, unlike any other activity that involves drawing, where the process of creating a certain product by learners may take more time than actual work with the target language, the whole time will be spent on meaningful language practice.

5 Classroom Activities with AI Art Generators

Here are five easy classroom activities for language students: 

Guess the Prompt

Show an AI-generated image to your students and ask them to come up with a string of text/prompt that would likely produce that specific image. Or play Prompt Hangman (Hangman with a sentence

Prompt Contest

Have your students come up with ‘wonderfully weird’ prompts using their target vocabulary. The prompt that results in the most interesting image wins.

Picture Prompt Storytelling

Pair up or split students into small teams. One player starts by providing a written prompt or sentence, and the AI text-to-image tool generates an image based on that prompt. The next player must continue the story by writing the next part based on the image. The game can go back and forth, with each player using the AI-generated image as inspiration to create the next part of the story.

Guess the Scenario

Ask students to make a written description of a scenario, such as a specific location, event, or situation (*Curious Cat). The other students then have to guess the scenario based on the generated image.

ImagineAI

Have students describe a poem, lyrics, idioms, etc., in a way that the AI text-to-image tool can generate an accurate representation.

AI Art Generators

Here are a few AI art generators that you may use for your students. They all are free, require no sign-up (or may be used privately) and may be accessed immediately.

BlueWillow: a good FREE alternative to Midjourney. For this art generator you will need a discord account. Open a private server and invite the bot there to keep all your images and prompts private.

Fusion Brain: This is a free art generator driven by Kandinsky model. The generator offers quite an impressive number of styles.   

Zoo – Open Source Playground by Replicate: This art generator generates a series of images using various models. 

If you have tried some other activities, or you have your favourite (free and no sign-up) generators, please share them with us in the comments section below!

Updates

AI tools are developing very quickly, so here’s a new activity from Larry Ferlazzo that can be added to the list of activities using the new tool on the market called Ideogram. In addition to having students practise describing in English what they want the image to look like, they can also write a sentence for a sign that appears in the image.

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