Computer-Assisted Listening and Speaking Tutor Jacques Koreman ÅstaØvregaard EgilAlbertsen SisselNefzaoui Eli Skarpnes Dept. of Language and Communication Studies
Outline • What is CALST? • Three parts: • Basic vocabulary: enabling simple communication • Contrastive listening training: recognizing the sounds of Norwegian, including different dialects • Pronunciationtraining: speaking to be understood • Futurework: • Analysing problems foreigners have • Automaticevaluationofpronunciationerrors
What is CALST? CALST is a collaborative project on computer-assisted pronunciation teaching (CAPT) for Norwegian. • Time/place chosen by L2-learner • Individualized learning (for L1 and variety of Norwegian) • Prestige (pronunciation errors) • Combined with classroom teaching pronunciation communication integration immigration
Cross-disciplinary collaboration Research VOX IMDi $ Norgesuniversitet HF, NTNU ISK • Norwegian as L2 • Phonetics Practice Technology ISK + ILN KTH courses forstudents and employees basic CAPT system(www.speech.kth.se/ville) technical support EVO immigrants CALST
CALST work packages • Development of basic lexicon for Norwegian • Contrastive listening: • Self-monitoring of pronunciation • Recordings of one male/one female speaker for 4 Norwegian dialects (Østlandet, Vestlandet, Trøndelag and Nord-Norge): role model, no single standard • Alignment of talking face with speech signal • Selection and creation of pictures • Phonological contrastive analysis (what phonemes) and phonetic analysis (how realized) for several L1 • Depends on dialect • First learn to hear, then learn to speak
Basic vocabulary learning • First steptowardscommunication • Simple and intuitive userinterface • Train and test mode • Extrainformationon flash cards: • Englishtranslation • Declinations and inflexions
Basic vocabulary: selection criteria A1 Has a basic vocabulary repertoire of isolated words and phrases related to particular concrete situations. A2 Has a sufficient vocabulary for the expression of basic communicative needs. Has a sufficient vocabulary for coping with simple survival needs. Has sufficient vocabulary to conduct routine, everyday transactions involving familiar situations and topics. Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment,http://www.coe.int/T/DG4/ Portfolio/documents/Framework_EN.pdf, p.110.
På vei(n = 1485) 233 493 452 608 192 245 496 total n = 2719 Basic vocabulary Ny i Norge(n = 1579) euroFluent(n = 1541) Ellingsen og Mac Donald (2004), På vei. Oslo: J. W. Cappelens forlag A/S. euroFluent (2008), www.eurofluent.net. Manne og Nilsen (2004), Ny i Norge. Bergen: Forlaget Fag og Kultur AS.
Basic vocabulary • Comparison with basic vocabulary og Lexin, a web-based dictionary developed specially for immigrants under the auspices of Utdanningsdirektoratet: 349 additional words. • Some lacking cardinal and ordinal numbers 1-20, all tens up to 100, etc. • Words from this total word set were used to build up semantic categories. • Within a semantic category, the grammatical category of the words was the same. • Additional (non-semantic) categories for strong verbs, weak verbs, years (numbers) and phrases.
Semantic categories (16-32 words) 1. Animals 32 2. Emotions 30 3. Family 1 28 4. Family 2 21 5. Colours 16 6. Geography (topography) 24 7. Houses (buildings) 23 8. Household 1 (living room, etc.) 18 9. Household 2 (kitchen, etc.) 29 10. Clothing 32 11. Countries and continents 24 12. Body 27 13. Health 16 14. Food 1 (elementary) 32 15. Food 2 (expanded) 32 16. Mathematics 19 17. Nationality 25 18. Plants 19 19. Position and direction 1 (adv.) 16 20. Position and direction 1 (prep.) 16 21. Tools 1 (personal belongings) 32 22. Tools 2 (kitchen, workshop) 32 23. Travel 20 24. Sport and sparetime 28 25. Numbers 1 (cardinal) 52 26. Numbers 2 (similar-sounding) 42 27. Numbers 3 (similar-sounding) 38 28. Numbers 4 (ordinal) 32 29. Time 1 (weekdays, months) 23 30. Time 2 (time of day) 18 31. Education 24 32. Weather and climate 20 33. Work 25 34. Economy 30 35. Years (culturally relevant) 18 36. Weak verbs 32 37. Strong verbs 27 38. Phrases 16 39. Pronouns 21
Basic vocabulary selection • All words were given priority 1-3 on the basis av pedagogical considerations (cf. CEF A1 and A2 criteria):1. necessary (1200 words), 2 useful (700 words), 3. nice to have (1200 words). • All words were given a visualizability value 1-3 by the person who was hired to produce the pictures. → 1000-word basic vocabulary
Visualizing words • Simple, stylized pictures for quick perception. • Taken from UVic’s Language Teaching Clipart Library database, and expanded by the project (310 drawn by hand, computer drawn). • First drawn on paper, scanned in and coloured using Paint and PhotoFiltre. • Neutral to gender and culture – if possible. • Drawn on transparent background to allow green (“correct”) or red filling (“incorrect”). • Some categories not use individual pictures for each word, but instead use a composite picture, e.g. to express family relationships in a family tree or to visualize states in a map of the world.
Norwegian dialects • Norwegian has a large number of different dialects(so what, so do other languages) • And no real standard pronunciation variant(e.g. English, German and Dutch do) • There is no tradition in Norway to accommodate to problems in understanding dialects (overstatement!) • Learners of Norwegian have to deal with this in everyday communication situations • Standard classroom situation: training in listening to and speaking Urban East Norwegian (østlandsk) • CALST: choice between 4 main dialect regions with a male and a female speaker (role model) for each, or combination of dialects
Next step: contrastive listening training • What is easy for a Norwegian speaker/listener, may be difficult for an L2-learner: • “bi-by-bu” • Retroflexion: “hardet” (“ha det”) • Aspiration: [ph, th, kh] • And do Norwegians have a pronunciation problem in Norwegian: “7.” = “20.”?(The loss of this opposition means one problem less for foreigners! – but at the expense of many misunderstandings) • We’re all foreigners, almost everywhere: • “blue eyes” or “blue ice”? • “very well”
Selecting focus groups • Original proposal: contrastive analysis of most frequent and problematical foreign languages in comparison to Norwegian • Analysis of exam results for Norwegian courses in last 5 years underway: test results and pronunciation grade analyzed for • native language background • gender • age • position (exchange student, Ph.D., NTNU employee) • study program or institute • Also based on data/experience from UiO and EVO • (UPSID: contrastive analysis of Norwegian compared to
Contrastive analysis: thinking big? • UPSID: UCLA Phonological Segment Inventory Database contains phonemic inventory of Norwegian compared to 450 (!) other languages • Can we derive an automatic analysis for each of this automatically? web.phonetik.uni-frankfurt.de/upsid.html • Other information on the web: syllable structure, word stress, tone, … (SOWL) • Use L1-L2 differences to guide users of the CAPT system through exercises…or let them also do “easy” exercises for familiar contrast for motivation?
Possible follow-ups • CALST follow-up programmed • Test data from CALST on server (also after project!) • logged together with student background data: gender, age, language background, length of residence, drop-out rate, grade, etc. • new project on Comparative Analysis of various L1? • CAPT’N • Cross-disciplinary project submitted to NFR in 2008: technology + phonetics • Aim: automatic analysis of learners’ pronunciation of problematical sound contrasts + phonetic feedback. • Project rejected: “too applied” + cross-disciplinary project possibly difficult to review • IET resubmitting the technological part of this project.
Computer-AssistedListening and SpeakingTutor Thank you for your attention!