Interspeech'2005 - Eurospeech

Lisbon, Portugal
September 4-8, 2005

Improving the Speech Recognition Performance of Beginners in Spoken Conversational Interaction for Language Learning

Hui Ye, Steve Young

University of Cambridge, UK

The provision of automatic systems that can provide conversational practice for beginners would make a valuable addition to existing aids for foreign language teaching. To achieve this goal, the SCILL (Spoken Conversational Interaction for Language Learning) project is developing a spoken dialogue system that is capable of maintaining interactive dialogues with non-native students in the target language. However, the effective realisation of the intelligent language understanding and dialogue management needed for such a system, requires robust recognition of poorly articulated non-native speech. This paper studies several popular techniques for robust acoustic modelling including HLDA,MAP and CMLLR on non-native speech data within a specific dialogue domain. In addition, a novel approach for using cross language speech data to adapt the acoustic models is described and shown to be useful when very limited non-native adaptation data is available. The experimental results provide a clear story of how to improve recognition performance on non-native speech for a specific task, and this will be of interest more generally for those developing multi-lingual spoken dialogue systems.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Ye, Hui / Young, Steve (2005): "Improving the speech recognition performance of beginners in spoken conversational interaction for language learning", In INTERSPEECH-2005, 289-292.