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Interactive Audio Comprehension Materials. Paul Groves [email protected] Background. IACM developed to provide self-monitored aural compreshension practice (for Oral Exam) for Mod. Lang. students Used for 8 different languages Comprises long-ish (around 5 minutes) chunks of audio.

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Interactive audio comprehension materials

Interactive Audio Comprehension Materials

Paul Groves

[email protected]


Background
Background

  • IACM developed to provide self-monitored aural compreshension practice (for Oral Exam) for Mod. Lang. students

  • Used for 8 different languages

  • Comprises long-ish (around 5 minutes) chunks of audio


Web demo
Web Demo

http://acdt.oucs.ox.ac.uk/modlang/


Technology 1
Technology(1)

  • “Backend” uses XML (one XML file per passage plus “master” XML file),

  • Converted to HTML & SMIL using SAXON XSLT Processor + custom XSLT stylesheets

  • Perl + Sablotron XSLT Processor used for dynamic XSLT conversion


File production process
File Production Process

SMIL Files

Master

XML File

SAXON

HTML Files

Master

XSLT File

Passage

XML Files

HTML output

XSLT Files

SMIL output

XSLT File


Example of xml
Example of XML

<section no="1">

<question mark="3">What were posting stations used for in Russia

beginning in the 13th century?</question>

<transcription clip_begin="3.5" clip_end="21.8">

<para>На Руси начиная с XIII в. на ямских трактах ставились

почтовые станции (ямы), где путешествующие

могли отдохнуть и сменить лошадей. Именно от

этих станций и мерили тогда длину дороги.

</para>

</transcription>

</section>


Technology 2
Technology (2)

  • XML Stores:

    • “metadata” (audio timings, title, speaker, language etc.) as well as:

    • content (transcriptions etc.) of each passage

  • XSLT allows the passages to be presented in a number of different ways


Why was xml used
Why Was XML Used?

  • Unicode – makes handling multiple languages (not all of which use the Latin alphabet) easier

  • Platform/application independence

  • XSLT means same data can be used in different ways


Why was realaudio used
Why was RealAudio Used?

  • Has full support for SMIL

  • Allows a lot of interaction with an embedded RealPlayer using Javascript

  • Good quality/compression trade-off

  • Basic Server (was) free


Problems
Problems

  • XML files not easy to create or manage for non-technical staff (XMetal helps, but is not the answer)

  • Difficult for Web Designers to use XSLT, though tools are improving

  • Unicode support still a bit patchy on Mac

  • Netscape 6 problems with javascript and embedded objects

  • Latest version of “Free” Real Basic Server now expires after 12 months


Future plans
Future Plans

  • Shell for creating/managing XML

  • More XSLT stylesheets to create different ways to navigate XML data

  • Use “standard” XSLT 2.0 instead of Saxon extensions

  • Video


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