Third Workshop on Child, Computer and Interaction (WOCCI 2012)

Portland, OR, USA
September 14, 2012

Automatic Assessment of Oral Reading Fluency for Spanish Speaking ELs

Daniel Bolaños (1), Patricia Elhazaz Walsh (2), Wayne H. Ward (1), Ronald A. Cole (1)

1Boulder Language Technologies (BLT), Boulder, Colorado (USA)
(2) Department of English Philology, San Pablo CEU University, Madrid, Spain

This article presents an approach to the automatic assessment of the oral reading fluency (ORF) of children in Spain who are learning to read English. We compared different acoustic modeling configurations and adaptation methods to determine the most accurate means of estimating reliable children's oral reading fluency scores using the standard metric of words correct per minute (WCPM). We addressed the problem of identifying word errors by extracting a series of features in order to learn how the human experts are actually annotating individual words.
    Experimental results show that the difference between WCPM scores produced by the proposed system and two human judges on the same text is smaller than the average difference between the scores produced by the two judges. In addition, the system scored individual words in texts as correctly or incorrectly read with an accuracy similar to that of human annotators.

Index Terms: reading fluency assessment, non-native speech recognition, ELs, children's speech, Spanish

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Bolaños, Daniel / Walsh, Patricia Elhazaz / Ward, Wayne H. / Cole, Ronald A. (2012): "Automatic assessment of oral reading fluency for Spanish speaking ELs", In WOCCI-2012, 40-44.