I have been studying Spanish off and on now for about 10 years throughout middle/high school and now in college. It wasn't until I began doing language exchanges as an assignment for my college Spanish class that my conversational skills really began to improve. Currently, I am looking for a research topic for my Masters in Computer Science, and I would like to know whether anyone has used chatbots before to practice their language skills. I believe at least Mondly, Duolingo, and Memrise have made chatbots available for this purpose.
In my opinion, chatbots have a lot of potential to help language learners develop their conversational skills to the point where they are comfortable enough to participate in language exchanges with native speakers. Especially for those just beginning to learn a language, chatbots might provide the opportunity to practice putting vocabulary and grammar into a conversational setting without the added pressure or expense of taking part in language exchanges or hiring a tutor.
I would be interested to hear about your experiences using similar chatbots. What do you like/dislike about them? What would make interacting with them more interesting and engaging? Do you see chatbots as a potential resource for language learners?
I realize that many of the chatbots available now are quite limited, but I am interested in learning what features, if any, would make a chatbot a useful tool for the language learning community.