ISCA International Workshop on Speech and Language Technology in Education (SLaTE 2009)

Wroxall Abbey Estate, Warwickshire, England
September 3-5, 2009

Rainbow Rummy: A Web-based Game for Vocabulary Acquisition using Computer-Directed Speech

Brandon Yoshimoto, Ian McGraw, Stephanie Seneff

MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, 32 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA, USA

This paper describes a new on-line game we have developed which allows learners of Chinese or English to practice speaking in a communicative setting. Game play resembles gin rummy or Mah Jong, and is intended to be sufficiently engaging to invite persistent replay. Students compete in a social game against other students at remote settings, or they can play against a robotic partner. A user study was conducted on 16 students of Chinese, to assess whether a configuration that utilizes speech recognition is as effective for learning vocabulary as a configuration that only requires the student to listen. Results show that the vocabulary learning gains averaged across subjects were greater following use of the speech-enabled version of the game compared to the listening-only version.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Yoshimoto, Brandon / McGraw, Ian / Seneff, Stephanie (2009): "Rainbow rummy: a web-based game for vocabulary acquisition using computer-directed speech", In SLaTE-2009, 5-8.