9th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Brisbane, Australia
September 22-26, 2008

Can Audio-Visual Instructions Help Learners Improve Their Articulation? - An Ultrasound Study of Short Term Changes

Olov Engwall

KTH, Sweden

This paper describes how seven French subjects change their pronunciation and articulation when practising Swedish words with a computer-animated virtual teacher. The teacher gives feedback on the user's pronunciation with audiovisual instructions suggesting how the articulation should be changed. A wizard-of-Oz set-up was used for the training session, in which a human listener choose the adequate pre-generated feedback based on the user's pronunciation. The subjects' change of the articulation was monitored during the practice session with a hand-held ultrasound probe. The perceptual analysis indicates that the subjects improved their pronunciation during the training and the ultrasound measurements suggest that the improvement was made by following the articulatory instructions given by the computer-animated teacher.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Engwall, Olov (2008): "Can audio-visual instructions help learners improve their articulation? - an ultrasound study of short term changes", In INTERSPEECH-2008, 2631-2634.