Improving Pronunciation of Spanish as a Foreign Language for L1 Japanese Speakers with Japañol CAPT Tool

Cristian Tejedor-García, Valentín Cardeñoso-Payo, María J. Machuca, David Escudero-Mancebo, Antonio Ríos, Takuya Kimura


Availability and usability of mobile smart devices and speech technologies ease the development of language learning applications, although many of them do not include pronunciation practice and improvement. A key to success is to choose the correct methodology and provide a sound experimental validation assessment of their pedagogical effectiveness. In this work we present an empirical evaluation of Japañol, an application designed to improve pronunciation of Spanish as a foreign language targeted to Japanese people. A structured sequence of lessons and a quality assessment of pronunciations before and after completion of the activities provide experimental data about learning dynamics and level of improvement. Explanations have been included as corrective feedback, comprising textual and audiovisual material to explain and illustrate the correct articulation of the sounds. Pre-test and post-test utterances were evaluated and scored by native experts and the ASR, showing a correlation over 0.86 between both predictions. Sounds [s], [fl], [ɾ] and [s], [fɾ], [θ] explain the most frequent failures for discrimination and production, respectively, which can be exploited to plan future versions of the tool, including gamified ones. Final automatic scores provided by the application highly correlate (r>0.91) to expert evaluation and a significant pronunciation improvement can be measured.


 DOI: 10.21437/IberSPEECH.2018-21

Cite as: Tejedor-García, C., Cardeñoso-Payo, V., Machuca, M.J., Escudero-Mancebo, D., Ríos, A., Kimura, T. (2018) Improving Pronunciation of Spanish as a Foreign Language for L1 Japanese Speakers with Japañol CAPT Tool. Proc. IberSPEECH 2018, 97-101, DOI: 10.21437/IberSPEECH.2018-21.


@inproceedings{Tejedor-García2018,
  author={Cristian Tejedor-García and Valentín Cardeñoso-Payo and María J. Machuca and David Escudero-Mancebo and Antonio Ríos and Takuya Kimura},
  title={{Improving Pronunciation of Spanish as a Foreign Language for L1 Japanese Speakers with Japañol CAPT Tool}},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. IberSPEECH 2018},
  pages={97--101},
  doi={10.21437/IberSPEECH.2018-21},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/IberSPEECH.2018-21}
}