Using Generative AI to make language more accessible

Melissa McCurry
Last Updated: April 11, 2024

Educators can use generative AI to transform dense, technical material into clear, easily understandable content. This improves students’ comprehension and makes the learning experience more inclusive to a wider audience. While students are growing in their knowledge of complex academic topics, sometimes academic terminology can be a barrier. Particularly early in the course, students may not yet be familiar with the jargon and language of your subject matter. In addition, you may have learners in your course with a wide range of educational and cultural backgrounds. Some of your students may be from countries outside of the United States, and English may not be their first language. By demystifying complex concepts, jargon, and metaphors with generative AI, educators are empowered to create more equitable and effective learning environments for our diverse array of learners. 

For example, you can use the following example prompt to get started: 

In this prompt, we are asking ChatGPT to rewrite text to an 8-10th-grade reading level on the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Scale. This is the reading level recommended for a general adult lay audience. Feel free to adjust this to fit your target audience. 

Example: An Online Course on Neuroscience


Now imagine that you are a renowned neuroscientist and a highly regarded faculty member at Michigan Medicine. You are interested in developing an online course that will bring neuroscience concepts to a lay audience. You are excited to get started, but as you begin to develop content, you quickly realize that your typical content is aimed at seasoned medical students and filled with jargon that may be daunting to those without prior knowledge. You realize that generative AI may be able to assist you in breaking down concepts into simpler terms. 

You fill in the example prompt with some of the text from one of your old in-person presentations with key concepts that you would like to include in this online course: 

In response to your input, ChatGPT gives you the following output: 

In this example, ChatGPT keeps all of the main concepts intact while using simpler language, providing definitions of terminology used (rather than removing it entirely), and breaking the large paragraph into more digestible, smaller paragraphs or chunks. 


As a content expert, it is important to read through the output and ensure that all key concepts remain intact. It is also up to you to determine whether the revisions are sufficient and appropriate for your audience. You may choose to ask for stylistic revisions as well. For example, ChatGPT wrote the text as though the course is currently happening. However, you plan on delivering this information at the beginning of the course to talk about what the learner will learn. This is your preference. 

You can ask ChatGPT to revise with the following: 

ChatGPT will then go through and make the requested revisions to the text using the appropriate tense that you indicated in your input: 

Continue to refine as needed. Consider feeding into the chat examples of your tone of voice so that the content is not only accessible for learners but also contains a human element. In addition, you can increase your expectation of language understanding as your students grow in their knowledge and your expectations of understanding increase.

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