In this paper, an automatic system for the assessment of reading in children is described and evaluated. The assessment is based on a reading test with 40 words, presented one by one to the child by means of a computerized reading tutor. The score that expresses the child's reading performance is calculated as the total time needed to read the 40 words divided by the number of correctly read words. In each grade, children are classified in 5 groups based on their score as provided by human annotators. We show that when the score for a child is assessed automatically using a speech recognizer, a classification can be obtained with a substantial agreement (Cohen's Kappa over 0.6) with the human classification. As all children in the experiments were classified either correctly or in an adjoining group, we can conclude that the proposed system can provide large time gains in current manual classification procedures.
Bibliographic reference. Duchateau, Jacques / Cleuren, Leen / hamme, Hugo Van / Ghesquière, Pol (2007): "Automatic assessment of children's reading level", In INTERSPEECH-2007, 1210-1213.