ISCA International Workshop on Speech and Language Technology in Education (SLaTE 2011)

Venice, Italy
August 24-26, 2011

Introducing Difficulty-Levels in Pronunciation Learning

Mark Kane, João P. Cabral, Amalia Zahra, Julie Carson-Berndsen

CNGL, School of Computer Science and Informatics, University College Dublin, Ireland

This paper presents a method to introduce the notion of a student selected difficulty level for the task of pronunciation learning of a second language. Three difficulty levels, novice, acceptable and native, are constructed using a tri-/bi- and unigram language model each using a specific set of broad phonetic groups determined using underspecification. The evaluation of the experiment is based on a target language of American English where Nigerian, Hungarian, Indonesian, Syrian, Pakistani and Portuguese students participate. The results show that the addition of difficulty levels returns specific mis-pronunciation information for a student indicating what pronunciation practice is required before they go to the next difficulty level.
Index Terms. pronunciation learning, broad phonetic groups

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Kane, Mark / Cabral, João P. / Zahra, Amalia / Carson-Berndsen, Julie (2011): "Introducing difficulty-levels in pronunciation learning", In SLaTE-2011, 37-40.