INTERSPEECH 2007
8th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Antwerp, Belgium
August 27-31, 2007

CALL Courseware for Learning Reactive Tokens in Face-to-Face Dialogs

Takafumi Utashiro, Goh Kawai

Hokkaido University, Japan

We developed courseware for teaching reactive tokens. Reactive tokens are audio or visual signals that structure discourse, and are sent by discourse participants who do not have the floor to those who do. Cultures with much in common sometimes differ markedly in their reactive tokens. Non-native language learners need to learn how to interpret and convey reactive tokens in order to be perceived as attentive, intelligent and polite. We believe reactive tokens are best learned when examples can be readily observed, practiced and critiqued. Our courseware combines computer-aided language learning (CALL) material for independent study, peer-based learning for production practice, and instructor-led learning for lectures and coaching. Experimental results show that some reactive tokens can be learned and retained.

Full Paper

Audio-Visual Material

utashiro_kawai.mov (6.8 MB)  This is an excerpt of our video courseware for training non-native language learners how to interpret and produce reactive tokens. Learners view video recordings of dialogs where some reactive tokens are concealed by muting the audio and obscuring the mouth area to prevent lip-reading. Learners determine which reactive tokens are appropriate for that circumstance.

Bibliographic reference.  Utashiro, Takafumi / Kawai, Goh (2007): "CALL courseware for learning reactive tokens in face-to-face dialogs", In INTERSPEECH-2007, 2301-2304.