Speech and Language Technology in Education (SLaTE2007)

The Summit Inn, Farmington, PA, USA
October 1-3, 2007

DeSIGN: An Intelligent Tutor to Teach American Sign Language

Ling Xu (1), Vinithra Varadharajan (1), Joyce Maravich (2), Rahul Tongia (1), Jack Mostow (1)

(1) Carnegie Mellon University, (2) Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

This paper presents the development of DeSIGN, an educational software application for those deaf students who are taught to communicate using American Sign Language (ASL). The software reinforces English vocabulary and ASL signs by providing two essential components of a tutor, lessons and tests. The current version was designed for 5th and 6th graders, whose literacy skills lag by a grade or more on average. In addition, a game that allows the students to be creative has been integrated into the tests. Another feature of DeSIGN is its ability to intelligently adapt its tests to the changing knowledge of the student as determined by a knowledge tracing algorithm. A separate interface for the teacher enables additions and modifications to the content of the tutor and provides progress monitoring. These dynamic aspects help motivate the students to use the software repeatedly. This software prototype aims at a feasible and sustainable approach to increase the participation of deaf people in society. DeSIGN has undergone an iteration of testing and is currently in use at a school for the deaf in Pittsburgh.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Xu, Ling / Varadharajan, Vinithra / Maravich, Joyce / Tongia, Rahul / Mostow, Jack (2007): "DeSIGN: an intelligent tutor to teach american sign language", In SLaTE-2007, 45-48.