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Software Details

Title: Applied Linguistics, Phonetics: PIE (Phonetically Intuitive English)
Submitter: Ziyuan Yao
Description: Dear ESL Teachers and Researchers,

We're a free software project called PIE (Phonetically Intuitive English), which provides a novel approach to teaching word pronunciation and meaning. Since our recent debut, we have been thrilled to receive positive comments from the US Department of Education[1], ESL experts and users[2], and be covered by PCWorld and a number of other US and international media outlets[3]. The Department of Education recommended that the project be forwarded to local education authorities for consideration.[1] We were also invited to National Education Association Exposition 2013 (coinciding with NEA's 150th annual meeting) and got very positive feedback from educators nationwide.[2]

The said software can automatically add diacritics to English words in a learner's Chrome web browser to show pronunciation (see [4] for a screenshot). As soon as the learner masters a one-page scheme (see [5] for the scheme), he would be able to acquire words' correct pronunciation as he browses the Web! The software also provides three modes (Full, Lite, Extra Lite) that progressively show fewer diacritics as the learner advances his English level (see [6] for screenshots of the three modes).

Knowing a word's correct pronunciation actually has two benefits. The first benefit, obviously, is the fact itself—the learner can now pronounce the word correctly in speaking, and recognize it correctly in listening. The second benefit, not so obviously, is that pronunciation is actually the best mnemonic to help memorize a word's spelling as well—it's how native speakers learn a word: first pronunciation, and then spelling.

The diacritics alone only show pronunciation but not meaning. To address this need, we also provide an associated free Chrome extension "PIE-Friendly Translator"[7], which can show an English word's meaning to an ESL learner in his native language, when he points his mouse at that English word. See [8] for a screenshot that shows PIE and PIE-Friendly Translator working together, providing both pronunciation and meaning to the user.

Besides transforming web pages to the diacritically marked form in real time, PIE can also be used to produce bilingually aligned, diacritically marked books intended for ESL learners. Such books tell a story in both English and the learner's native language, and the English part is marked with diacritics, so that the learner can acquire all three elements—spelling, pronunciation and meaning—as he reads the story. This enables ESL educators to both promote English and get rewarded financially. See [9] for some sample books and a toolkit that helps you create such books.

Get the free software directly from here (requires Chrome):

Or visit our project website for more information:

Best Regards,
The Phonetically Intuitive English Project

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics

Language Specialty: English

LL Issue: 24.2931
Date Posted: 18-Jul-2013

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