A System for Asessing Children Readings as School

Stefano Artuso, Luca Cristoforetti, Daniele Falavigna, Roberto Gretter, Nadia Mana, Gianluca Schiavo

In this paper we describe a system for analyzing the reading errors made by children of the primary school. To assess the reading skills of children in terms of reading accuracy and speed, a standard reading achievement test, defined by educational psychologists and named "Prove MT" (MT reading test), is used in all Italian primary schools. This test is based on a set of texts specific for different ages, from 7 to 10 years. At present during the test children are asked to read aloud short stories, while teachers manually write down the reading errors on a sheet and then compute a total score based on several measures, such as duration of the whole reading, number of read syllables per second, number and type of errors, etc. The system we have developed is aimed to support the teachers in this task by automatically detecting the reading errors and estimating the needed measures. To do this we use an automatic speech-to-text transcription system that employs a a language model trained over the texts containing the stories to read. In addition, we embed in the language model an error model that allows to take into account typical reading errors, mostly consisting in pronunciation errors, substitutions of syllables or words, word truncation, etc. To evaluate the performance of our system we collected 55 audio recordings, uttered by 8-13 years old children reading 4 different stories.

 DOI: 10.21437/SLaTE.2017-20

Cite as: Artuso, S., Cristoforetti, L., Falavigna, D., Gretter, R., Mana, N., Schiavo, G. (2017) A System for Asessing Children Readings as School. Proc. 7th ISCA Workshop on Speech and Language Technology in Education, 115-120, DOI: 10.21437/SLaTE.2017-20.

  author={Stefano Artuso and Luca Cristoforetti and Daniele Falavigna and Roberto Gretter and Nadia Mana and Gianluca Schiavo},
  title={A System for Asessing Children Readings as School},
  booktitle={Proc. 7th ISCA Workshop on Speech and Language Technology in Education},