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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Academic Paper


Title: The effectiveness of computer-based speech corrective feedback for improving segmental quality in L2 Dutch
Author: Ambra Neri
Institution: Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Author: Catia Cucchiarini
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://lands.let.kun.nl//TSpublic/catia/
Institution: Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Author: Helmer Strik
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://lands.let.ru.nl/TSpublic/strik/
Institution: Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Language Acquisition; Phonology
Subject Language: Dutch
Abstract: Although the success of automatic speech recognition (ASR)-based Computer Assisted Pronunciation Training (CAPT) systems is increasing, little is known about the pedagogical effectiveness of these systems. This is particularly regrettable because ASR technology still suffers from limitations that may result in the provision of erroneous feedback, possibly leading to learning breakdowns. To study the effectiveness of ASR-based feedback for improving pronunciation, we developed and tested a CAPT system providing automatic feedback on Dutch phonemes that are problematic for adult learners of Dutch. Thirty immigrants who were studying Dutch were assigned to three groups using either the ASR-based CAPT system with automatic feedback, a CAPT system without feedback, or no CAPT system. Pronunciation quality was assessed for each participant before and after the training by human experts who evaluated overall segmental quality and the quality of the phonemes addressed in the training. The participants' impressions of the CAPT system used were also studied through anonymous questionnaires. The results on global segmental quality show that the group receiving ASR-based feedback made the largest mean improvement, but the groups' mean improvements did not differ significantly. The group receiving ASR-based feedback showed a significantly larger improvement than the no-feedback group in the segmental quality of the problematic phonemes targeted.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in ReCALL Vol. 20, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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