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By Ear and by Eye - adaptive tutoring for foreign language pronunciation training



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By Ear and by Eye adaptive tutoring for foreign language pronunciation training Maxine Eskenazi Scott Hansma Monique Semp Randy Warner Language Technologies Institute 242 Cyert Hall Carnegie Mellon University 4910 Forbes Ave Pittsburgh Pa 15213 USA The Fluency system is designed to be used by a student to improve his accent in a target language One principle of foreign language teaching that dictates the manner in which Fluency is implemented is that students must feel comfortable and self assured in the learning situation in order to progress This is the reason we have implemented a dual interface that attempts to take into account the individual student s best way of learning In the past many foreign language teachers have corrected pronunciation by showing the student exactly where to place his articulators and having him practice doing it Many teachers observed by many of them that once the student s own production was correctly in place his perception of the target L2 difference followed This practice may have been influenced by Liberman s motor theory of speech production But in the past few years work by Akahane ICSLP 96 has shown that foreign speakers could be trained to produce correct phones by listening to targeted differences minimal pairs alone The students perception and production were improved using this method and this remained true over periods of 6 months 1 year This finding has lead us to propose that there may be two different populations one that responds better to visual visual articulatory instruction and one that responds better to oral instruction We may find that some students do not respond better to one of these modes as opposed to the other and we are prepared to create a third interface that uses both visual and oral training if this is so These separate types of learning have been alluded to in the literature but no hard proof from controlled tests has yet been shown We have developed a double interface to Fluency s duration module



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