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1. A statistical method of evaluating the pronunciation proficiency/intelligibility of English

presentations by Japanese speakers
Hiroshi Kibishi (a1), Kuniaki Hirabayashi (a2) and Seiichi Nakagawa (a3)
In this paper, we propose a statistical evaluation method of pronunciation proficiency and
intelligibility for presentations made in English by native Japanese speakers. We statistically
analyzed the actual utterances of speakers to find combinations of acoustic and linguistic
features with high correlation between the scores estimated by the system and native
English teachers. Our results showed that the best combination of acoustic features
produced correlation coefficients of 0.929 and 0.753 for pronunciation and intelligibility
scores, respectively, using open data for speakers at the 10-sentence level. In an offline test,
we evaluated possibly-confusing pairs of phonemes that are often mispronounced by
Japanese speakers of English. In addition, we developed an online real-time score
estimation system for Japanese learners of English using offline techniques to evaluate the
pronunciation and intelligibility scores in real-time with almost the same ability as English
teachers. Finally, we show that both the objective and subjective evaluations improved after
learning with our system.

2. Speech technologies for pronunciation feedback and evaluation


Educators and researchers in the acquisition of L2 phonology have called for empirical
assessment of the progress students make after using new methods for learning (Chun,
1998, Morley, 1991). The present study investigated whether unlimited access to a speechrecognition-based language-learning program would improve the general standard of
pronunciation of a group of middle-aged immigrant professionals studying English in
Sweden. Eleven students were given a copy of the program Talk to Me from Auralog as a
supplement to a 200-hour course in Technical English, and were encouraged to practise on
their home computers. Their development in spoken English was compared with a control
group of fifteen students who did not use the program. The program is evaluated in this
paper according to Chapelles (2001) six criteria for CALL assessment. Since objective human
ratings of pronunciation are costly and can be unreliable, our students were pre- and posttested with the automatic PhonePass SET-10 test from Ordinate Corp. Results indicate that
practice with the program was beneficial to those students who began the course with a
strong foreign accent but was of limited value for students who began the course with
better pronunciation. The paper begins with an overview of the state of the art of using
speech recognition in L2 applications.

3. Interactive pronunciation training

Volume 13, Issue 1
May 2001, pp. 67-78
Improving the feedback quality of a computer-based system for pronunciation training
requires rather detailed and precise knowledge about the place and the nature of actual
mispronunciations in a students utterance. To be able to provide this kind of information,
components for the automatic localisation and correction of pronunciation errors have been
developed. This work was part of a project aimed at integrating state-of-the-art speech
recognition technology into a pronunciation training environment for adult, intermediate
level learners. Although the technologies described here are in principle valid for any
language pairs, the current system focuses on Italian and German learners of English.

4. Computer assisted pronunciation, phonemics, phonetics learning: problems, products and

Ton Koet (a1)
Volume 6, Issue 2
November 1994, pp. 18-22
In this paper the application of the techniques of Computer Assisted Language Learning to
aspects of pronunciation will be considered. The problems of such application will be
discussed and will be seen to be serious; some products will be described; the prospects for
future applications will be viewed and will be seen to be far from bleak. Although the paper
addresses the situation in The Netherlands, it is hoped that it will be relevant for
practitioners in other countries.
5. An English pronunciation learning system for6/ Japanese students based on diagnosis of
critical pronunciation errors
Volume 16, Issue 1
May 2004, pp. 173-188

We have developed an English pronunciation learning system which estimates the

intelligibility of Japanese learners' speech and ranks their errors from the viewpoint of
improving their intelligibility to native speakers. Error diagnosis is particularly important in
self-study since students tend to spend time on aspects of pronunciation that do not
noticeably affect intelligibility. As a preliminary experiment, the speech of seven Japanese
students was scored from 1 (hardly intelligible) to 5 (perfectly intelligible) by a linguistic
expert. We also computed their error rates for each skill. We found that each intelligibility
level is characterized by its distribution of error rates. Thus, we modeled each intelligibility
level in accordance with its error rate. Error priority was calculated by comparing students'
error rate distributions with that of the corresponding model for each intelligibility level. As
non-native speech is acoustically broader than the speech of native speakers, we developed
an acoustic model to perform automatic error detection using speech data obtained from
Japanese students. As for supra-segmental error detection, we categorized errors frequently
made by Japanese students and developed a separate acoustic model for that type of error
detection. Pronunciation learning using this system involves two phases. In the first phase,
students experience virtual conversation through video clips. They receive an error profile
based on pronunciation errors detected during the conversation. Using the profile, students
are able to grasp characteristic tendencies in their pronunciation errors which in effect
lower their intelligibility. In the second phase, students practise correcting their individual
errors using words and short phrases. They then receive information regarding the errors
detected during this round of practice and instructions for correcting the errors. We have
begun using this system in a CALL class at Kyoto University. We have evaluated system
performance through the use of questionnaires and analysis of speech data logged in the
server, and will present our findings in this paper.

6. The need for a speech corpus

This paper outlines the ongoing construction of a speech corpus for use by applied linguists
and advanced EFL/ESL students. In the first part, sections 14, the need for improvements in
the teaching of listening skills and pronunciation practice for EFL/ESL students is noted. It is
argued that the use of authentic native-to-native speech is imperative in the
teaching/learning process so as to promote social inclusion. The arguments for authentic
language learning material and the use of a speech corpus are contextualised within the
literature, based mainly on the work of Swan, Brown and McCarthy. The second part,
section 5, addresses features of native speech flow which cause difficulties for EFL/ESL
students (Brown, Cauldwell) and establishes the need for improvements in the teaching of
listening skills. Examples are given of reduced forms characteristic of relaxed native speech,
and how these can be made accessible for study using the Dublin Institute of Technologys
slow-down technology, which gives students more time to study native speech features,
without tonal distortion. The final part, sections 68, introduces a novel Speech Corpus
being developed at DIT. It shows the limits of traditional corpora and outlines the general
requirements of a Speech Corpus. This tool which will satisfy the needs of teachers,

learners and researchers will link digitally recorded, natural, native-to-native speech so
that each transcript segment will give access to its associated sound file. Users will be able
to locate desired speech strings, play, compare and contrast them and slow them down
for more detailed study.

7. The effectiveness of computer-based speech corrective feedback for improving segmental

quality in L2 Dutch
Ambra Neri (a1), Catia Cucchiarini (a1) and Helmer Strik (a1)
Volume 20, Issue 2
May 2008, pp. 225-243
Although the success of automatic speech recognition (ASR)-based Computer Assisted
Pronunciation Training (CAPT) systems is increasing, little is known about the pedagogical
effectiveness of these systems. This is particularly regrettable because ASR technology still
suffers from limitations that may result in the provision of erroneous feedback, possibly
leading to learning breakdowns. To study the effectiveness of ASR-based feedback for
improving pronunciation, we developed and tested a CAPT system providing automatic
feedback on Dutch phonemes that are problematic for adult learners of Dutch. Thirty
immigrants who were studying Dutch were assigned to three groups using either the ASRbased CAPT system with automatic feedback, a CAPT system without feedback, or no CAPT
system. Pronunciation quality was assessed for each participant before and after the
training by human experts who evaluated overall segmental quality and the quality of the
phonemes addressed in the training. The participants' impressions of the CAPT system used
were also studied through anonymous questionnaires. The results on global segmental
quality show that the group receiving ASR-based feedback made the largest mean
improvement, but the groups' mean improvements did not differ significantly. The group
receiving ASR-based feedback showed a significantly larger improvement than the nofeedback group in the segmental quality of the problematic phonemes targeted.

8. Learner autonomy: a guiding principle in designing a CD-ROM for intonation practice

Volume 13, Issue 2
November 2001, pp. 179-190
Building on the experience of developing a CD-ROM for English intonation practice, this
article explores some advantages and limitations of this medium for the teaching of
suprasegmentals. Despite their undeniable potential for foreign language learning,
computers prove to be rather limited in their feedback to pronunciation, especially in terms

of error identification and correction, which calls into question one of their very strengths,
viz. that of teacher-independent learning. As a possible solution to this dilemma, the
present paper proposes to build into the design of a CD-ROM for intonation teaching the
concept of learner autonomy, i.e. transferring to an increased degree responsibility for the
learning process from the teacher (computer) to the learner. Drawing on the discussion of
autonomy by, e.g. Broady & Kenning (1996) and Little (1999), it is demonstrated how
incorporating a metacognitive level (by offering the learner the choice to access intonation
in different ways) and a metalinguistic level helps to make the CD-ROM users more
autonomous in their learning and equip them with the necessary tools for self-assessment
and self-monitoring, which in turn can make up for the lack of computerised diagnostic

9. A review of technology choice for teaching language skills and areas in the CALL literature
Volume 19, Issue 2
May 2007, pp. 105-120
The use of technology in language teaching and learning has been the focus of a number of
recent research review studies, including developments in technology and CALL research
(Zhao, 2003), CALL as an academic discipline (Debski, 2003), ICT effectiveness (Felix, 2005),
and subject characteristics in CALL research (Hubbard, 2005), to name a few. Such studies
have contributed to clarifying how language learning technologies have been investigated,
but questions remain regarding how these technologies have been used in achieving
learning objectives. In other words, what technologies do CALL practitioners select for the
teaching of a certain language skill or area such as listening, grammar or pronunciation? Are
the decisions to use these technologies made on pedagogical grounds, or alternatively, are
there other aspects that are more instrumental in influencing what is used in the language
classroom? The purpose of this study is to review the literature to examine what
technologies are used in the teaching of the language skills and areas. All empirical research
articles appearing in four major English-language journals in the field of CALL (CALICO
Journal, CALL, Language Learning & Technology, and ReCALL) from 2001 to 2005 were
examined and the results collated to determine (1) what types of technologies are being
used in the teaching of specific language skills and areas, (2) whether researchers had a
clear idea in mind regarding their choice of technology or technologies in relation to their
learning objectives, and (3) whether the researchers attempted to capitalise upon the
features inherent in the technology or technologies as opposed to traditional, non-CALL
means. The paper concludes with a discussion of the relationship between technology and
pedagogical goals.

10. What really makes students like a web site? What are the implications for designing webbased language learning sites?

Volume 16, Issue 1
May 2004, pp. 85-102
Faced with reduced numbers choosing to study foreign languages (as in England and Wales),
strategies to create and maintain student interest need to be explored. One such strategy is
to create taster courses in languages, for potential university applicants. The findings
presented arise from exploratory research, undertaken to inform the design of a selection of
web-based taster courses for less widely taught languages. 687 school students, aged 14-18,
were asked to identify a web site that they liked and to state their main reason for liking it.
They were invited to include recreational sites and told that their answers could help with
web design for the taster courses. To explore the reasons, two focus groups were conducted
and student feedback on the developing taster course site was collected. Students
nominated search engines and academic sites, sites dedicated to hobbies, enthusiasms,
youth culture and shopping. They liked them for their visual attributes, usability,
interactivity, support for schoolwork and for their cultural and heritage associations, as well
as their content and functionality. They emerged as sensitive readers of web content,
visually aware and with clear views on how text should be presented. These findings
informed design of the taster course site. They are broadly in line with existing design
guidelines but add to our knowledge about school students use of the web and about
designing web-based learning materials. They may also be relevant to web design at other
levels, for example for undergraduates.

Computer-assisted language learning

1. Multisensory modalities for blending and segmenting among early readers
Lay Wah Lee
Pages 1017-1032 | Published online: 11 Jan 2016
With the advent of touch-screen interfaces on the tablet computer, multisensory elements
in reading instruction have taken on a new dimension. This computer assisted language
learning research aimed to determine whether specific technology features of a tablet
computer can add to the functionality of multisensory instruction in early reading
acquisition. The effects of multisensory elements from the different modalities (letter card
and iPad) on bilingual readers' natural abilities to blend and segment non-words were
compared. The quasi-experimental post-test study involved 56 high- and low-ability Malay
English Grade 2 students. Multisensory-based materials to build and to break apart nonwords in both letter card and iPad modalities were experimented. The results indicated no
significant difference in the effect of the multisensory modalities on blending and
segmenting tasks. As both conventional letter cards and touch-screen tablet computers
produced similar outcomes, the practical implication is that both are equally adequate for

providing the multisensory component3 in multisensory instruction. The writing systems

(Malay and English), the type of tasks (blending and segmenting), and extreme groups (highand low-performing) did not moderate the effects of the multisensory modalities.

2. Computer-Aided Pronunciation Pedagogy: Promise, Limitations, Directions

Martha C. Pennington
Pages 427-440 | Published online: 09 Aug 2010
An overview is presented of the promise and limitations of working on computer to improve
pronunciation in a second language. It is maintained that the considerable promise of the
computer as an instructional tool for developing language learners' pronunciation has yet to
be realized in practice, primarily because of lack of attention to pedagogical design rather
than because of inherent limitations of the technology. On the basis of this overview,
suggestions are made in the way of ten design principles.

3. Effect of Acoustic Spectrographic Instruction on production of English /i/ and /I/ by

Spanish pre-service English teachers
Marcela Quintana-Lara
Pages 207-227 | Received 20 Sep 2011, Accepted 22 Aug 2012, Published online: 24 Sep
This study investigates the effects of Acoustic Spectrographic Instruction on the production
of the English phonological contrast /i/ and / I /. Acoustic Spectrographic Instruction is
based on the assumption that physical representations of speech sounds and spectrography
allow learners to objectively see and modify those non-accurate features in their oral
production which may impede effective communication in the target language. Twenty-six
pre-service non-native English teachers, 16 in the experimental group and 10 in the control
group, participated in the investigation. During a two-week period, the experimental group
received Acoustic Spectrographic Instruction while the control group was exposed to a more
traditional pronunciation approach. Production accuracy of the target segments was
evaluated by two production tasks and a perceptual identification task. Acoustic
measurements from the production tasks show that Acoustic Spectrographic Instruction
significantly improved pronunciation of both vowels. Data from perceptual identification
also indicate pronunciation improvement of both vowels, particularly for English / I /. Taken
together, the results of these three experiments lend support to the use of acoustic features
of speech and spectrography in English segmental acquisition.

4. Effect of training Japanese L1 speakers in the production of American English /r/ using
spectrographic visual feedback
Iomi Patten & Lisa A. Edmonds
Pages 241-259 | Published online: 08 Oct 2013
The present study examines the effects of training native Japanese speakers in the
production of American /r/ using spectrographic visual feedback. Within a modified singlesubject design, two native Japanese participants produced single words containing /r/ in a
variety of positions while viewing live spectrographic feedback with the aim of producing /r/
with a third formant (F3) frequency of less than 2300 Hz (upper threshold for identifiable
/r/). Feedback was gradually reduced to promote independent production and monitoring.
Both participants showed improvement in /r/ production in trained and untrained single
words as indicated by percentage increases and effect sizes. Blind ratings by independent
experts indicated significant /r/ production improvements during the reading of the
Rainbow Passage. Perceptual distinction of /r/ and /l/ in minimal pairs also showed an
upward trend. These findings suggest that spectrographic visual feedback is a promising
method for training /r/ to Japanese-speaking English language learners.

5. Skryba: An Online Orthography Teaching Tool for Learners from Bilingual Backgrounds
Nick Nicholas , Robert Debski & Robert Lagerberg
Pages 441-458 | Published online: 09 Aug 2010
There is significant difficulty in learning to spell in a second language with complex
orthography, particularly where the students are raised bilingually and have had only
limited exposure to the written form of the target language. Such students require tailored
remedial work on orthography, which is disruptive for the teacher to organise during class.
We have devised a system for students to practice spelling individually through an online
tool, which tests for the students' performance on individual rules of spelling and adapts to
test the rules the student is weakest at. We illustrate the application of the tool to Russian.

6. A CALL Tool for Improving Second Language Acquisition of English Consonants by

Japanese Learners
Stephen Lambacher
Pages 137-156 | Published online: 09 Aug 2010

A growing number of ELT and foreign language programs are incorporating computerassisted instruction into their curricula for pronunciation training. This paper explains the
use of a CALL tool that utilizes acoustic data in real time to help Japanese L2 learners
improve their perception and production of English consonants. The basic features of the
speech learning software which runs on a networked workstation and is used for
pronunciation training are described. The software enables users to perform an acoustic
analysis of their recorded utterances with functions for viewing amplitude and pitch, and for
viewing and measuring duration and frequency range. Electronic visual feedback (EVF)
allows learners to visualize their own pronunciation and compare it with a native pattern,
and to associate the frequency patterns on the computer screen with the movement of
their articulators. The transference of data is in real time, which enables learners to get
immediate feedback about their errors and progress from the teacher. In explaining EVF
applications, the paper also provides a cross-linguistic comparison of English and Japanese
consonants in order to shed light on the difficulties faced by Japanese learners in producing
English consonants

7. A visual training tool for teaching kanji to children with developmental dyslexia
Hanae Ikeshita-Yamazoe & Masutomo Miyao
Pages 88-102 | Published online: 03 Mar 2014
We developed a visual training tool to assist children with developmental dyslexia in
learning to recognize and understand Chinese characters (kanji). The visual training tool
presents the strokes of a kanji character as separate shapes and requires students to use
these fragments to construct the character. Two types of experiments were conducted to
investigate the differences between the effects of the visual training tool and a traditional
Japanese teaching method shi-sha-ho, which consists of copying a visually displayed model
on developmentally dyslexic children's kanji writing skills. Six Japanese children with
developmental dyslexia (711 years old) and 58 controls (78 years old) participated in the
first experiment. Participants used both the visual training tool and the shi-sha-ho. We
found that the visual training tool was more effective than the shi-sha-ho for use with
Japanese children with developmental dyslexia in learning kanji, both just after the
experiment was completed and four weeks later. In the second experiment, we asked four
participants with dyslexia to use the visual training tool at home for four weeks prior to the
second experiment once a week for four weeks. Participants learned one kanji character
each week during the two weekly sessions for a period of eight weeks using the visual
training tool. The post-tests were conducted four and eight weeks after the experiment.
Participants retention of the target kanji was at least up to eight weeks. Results of the
second experiment showed the visual training tool developed in the present study have
shown the possibility of becoming a promising tool for children with developmental

8. The Pedagogy-Technology Interface in Computer Assisted Pronunciation Training

Ambra Neri , Catia Cucchiarini , Helmer Strik & Lou Boves
Pages 441-467 | Published online: 09 Aug 2010
In this paper, we examine the relationship between pedagogy and technology in Computer
Assisted Pronunciation Training (CAPT) courseware. First, we will analyse available literature
on second language pronunciation teaching and learning in order to derive some general
guidelines for effective training. Second, we will present an appraisal of various CAPT
systems with a view to establishing whether they meet pedagogical requirements. In this
respect, we will show that many commercial systems tend to prefer technological novelties
to the detriment of pedagogical criteria that could benefit the learner more. While
examining the limitations of today's technology, we will consider possible ways to deal with
these shortcomings. Finally, we will combine the information thus gathered to suggest some
recommendations for future CAPT.

9. The effectiveness of computer assisted pronunciation training for foreign language

learning by children
Ambra Neri , Ornella Mich , Matteo Gerosa & Diego Giuliani
Pages 393-408 | Received 30 Mar 2007, Accepted 22 May 2008, Published online: 18 Nov
This study investigates whether a computer assisted pronunciation training (CAPT) system
can help young learners improve word-level pronunciation skills in English as a foreign
language at a level comparable to that achieved through traditional teacher-led training.
The pronunciation improvement of a group of learners of 11 years of age receiving teacherfronted instruction was compared to that of a group receiving computer assisted
pronunciation training by means of a system including an automatic speech recognition
component. Results show that 1) pronunciation quality of isolated words improved
significantly for both groups of subjects, and 2) both groups significantly improved in
pronunciation quality of words that were considered particularly difficult to pronounce and
that were likely to have been unknown to them prior to the training. Training with a
computer-assisted pronunciation training system with a simple automatic speech
recognition component can thus lead to short-term improvements in pronunciation that are
comparable to those achieved by means of more traditional, teacher-led pronunciation

1. Interpreting Visual Feedback on English Suprasegmentals in Computer Assisted
Pronunciation Instruction
Janet Anderson-Hsieh
Although electronic visual feedback for teaching suprasegmentals has been discussed in the
literature in the last few years, insufficient information has been published on how to
interpret visual feedback graphs, a necessary skill for selecting appropriate phonetic
material to be used with visual feedback and for explaining the visual display to students.
The purpose of this paper is to identify some of the problems in interpreting visual feedback
displays of suprasegmentals and to discuss some strategies for using this type of feedback
on suprasegmentals more effectively. The problems discussed are interpreting the pitch
display, identifying syllables, determining syllable, boundaries and syllable duration, and
interpreting pitch and intensity patterns when the parameters of duration, pitch, and
display space are varied. An understanding of such problems should help the teacher to
become more effective in selecting utterances to be used with visual feedback so that
students will be able to identify suprasegmental patterns and learn them with the greatest
ease possible.
2. Providing an Effective and Affective Learning Environment for Spanish Phonetics with a
Hypermedia Application
Fenfang Hwu
Textbooks and audiocassettes have long been the only devices used to support Spanish
phonetics learning even though they are not especially effective in (a) assisting some
aspects of Spanish phonetics learning, (b) positively influencing affective variables such as
self-confidence and motivation, and (c) reducing cognitive loads required by the multiple
encoded language used in the learning process. Without appropriate teaching materials, the
instructional focus of Spanish phonetics has been restricted to the intellectual
comprehension of the subject. As a result, the essential goal of the course--to encourage
and to help students develop a deep understanding of speech--has been overlooked.
However, the use of certain features of hypermedia computer technology now makes it
possible to create an environment that not only addresses the different needs of students
but also helps them to develop an introspective awareness of speech. This writer integrated
various features of advanced authoring systems to create the prototype of a Spanish
phonetics application. The objectives of this project were to remedy the inadequacy of
traditional Spanish phonetics methodology and to meet the various needs of the diverse
student population taking Spanish phonetics at the university level.
3. A Computerized Phonetics Instructor: BABEL
Joaquin Vila, Lon Pearson

Babel is an expert system able to animate (graphically) and reproduce (acoustically) a text in
any language which uses the Latin alphabet. This system has been developed to aid
language learners and to help instructors leach the fine nuances of phonemes. Each
phoneme has a unique sound and thus requires a precise positioning of the vocal organs
which are displayed on the screen in two different projections: a front view and a profile
cross view of a human face in synchronization with the output sounds of the speech
4. Computer Assisted Pronunciation Training: Targeting Second Language Vowel
Perception Improves Pronunciation
Ron I. Thomson
This paper first provides an overview of factors that constrain ultimate attainment in adult
second language (L2) pronunciation, finding that first language influence and the quantity
and quality of L2 phonetic input account for much of the variation in the degree of foreign
accent found across adult L2 learners. The author then evaluates current approaches to
computer assisted pronunciation training (CAPT), concluding that they are not well
grounded in a current understanding of L2 accent. Finally, the author reports on a study in
which twenty-two Mandarin speakers were trained to better discriminate ten Canadian
English vowels. Using a specially designed computer application, learners were randomly
presented with recordings of the target vowels in monosyllabic frames, produced by twenty
native speakers. The learners responded by clicking on one of ten salient graphical images
representing each vowel category and were given both visual and auditory feedback as to
the accuracy of their selections. Pre- and post-tests of the learners English vowel
pronunciation indicated that their vowel intelligibility significantly improved as a result of
training, not only in the training context, but also in an untrained context. In a third context,
vowel intelligibility did not improve.
5. Using a Computer in Foreign Language Pronunciation Training: What Advantages?
Maxine Eskenazi
This paper looks at how speech-interactive CALL can help the classroom teacher carry out
recommendations from immersion-based approaches to language instruction. Emerging
methods for pronunciation tutoring are demonstrated from Carnegie Mellon University's
FLUENCY project, addressing not only phone articulation but also speech prosody,
responsible for the intonation and rhythm of utterances. New techniques are suggested for
eliciting freely constructed yet specifically targeted utterances in speech-interactive CALL. In
addition, pilot experiments are reported that demonstrate new methods for detecting and
correcting errors by mining the speech signal for information about learners' deviations
from native speakers' pronunciation.

Language Learning and Technology


Daniel J. Villa
New Mexico State University
The recent explosion in technology, in particular in computer and digitizing systems, has
many implications for heritage language maintenance and learning. In particular, authentic
language usage can be easily recorded and preserved for those goals. That same explosion,
however, can lead to a less than appropriate implementation of technology for language
maintenance and learning. Further, certain cultural boundaries can make it difficult to have
access to authentic language usage, particularly by out-group individuals who work on
indigenous languages. This paper presents a pilot study that attempts to both implement
technology in an appropriate manner and surmount the problems faced by out-group
language researchers by training an in-group member, in this case a speaker of Navajo, in
the methodology and technology necessary for recording and preserving her heritage
language. The results of this work are discussed, as well as the role of computer and
digitizing technology in language maintenance and teaching.1


Daniel J. Olson, Purdue University
While a growing body of research has established the benefits of pronunciation training on
second language (L2) production, these benefits have yet to be incorporated into the
general skills language classroom in a systematic manner. Furthermore, although relatively
new speech analysis software has been shown to be useful in providing visual feedback for
L2 suprasegmental (i.e., intonation) production, there is a relative lack of research on its
potential implementation for segmental instruction. The current paper presents a
systematic analysis of the effectiveness of a visual feedback paradigm (VFP), in an L2
Spanish classroom, as a pedagogical method for pronunciation teaching at the segmental
level (i.e., Spanish intervocalic stops). Results demonstrate a significant improvement of L2
stop production relative to a control group receiving traditional pronunciation feedback.
Furthermore, findings demonstrate that VFP leads to small incremental gains. Discussion
addresses the role of VFP on segmental production and the potential practical
implementations of visual feedback in the lower-level, general skills language classroom.


Mark W. Tanner and Melissa M. Landon Brigham Young University
With research showing the benefits of pronunciation instruction aimed at suprasegmentals
(Derwing, Munro, & Wiebe, 1997, 1998; Derwing & Rossiter, 2003; Hahn, 2004; McNerney
and Mendelsohn, 1992), more materials are needed to provide learners opportunities for
self-directed practice. A 13-week experimental study was performed with 75 ESL learners
divided into control and treatment groups. The treatment group was exposed to 11 weeks
of self-directed computer-assisted practice using Cued Pronunciation Readings (CPRs). In the
quasi-experimental pre-test/post-test design, speech perception and production samples
were collected at Time 1 (week one of the study) and Time 2 (week 13). Researchers
analyzed the treatments effect on the learners perception and production of key
suprasegmental features (pausing, word stress, and sentence-final intonation), and the
learners level of perceived comprehensibility. Results from the statistical tests revealed that
the treatment had a significant effect on learners perception of pausing and word stress
and controlled production of stress, even with limited time spent practicing CPRs in a selfdirected environment. INTRODUCTION Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) is of


Maxine Eskenazi
Language Technologies Institute
Carnegie Mellon University

In this article I will discuss the possible use of automatic speech recognition (ASR) for
training students to improve their accents in a foreign language. Principles of good language
training as well as the limits of the use of Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) and how to
deal with them will be discussed first. I will then use the example of the Carnegie Mellon
FLUENCY system to show concretely how such a system may function. Prosody training as
well as phonetics will be emphasized. Finally, I will underscore the importance of having a
system that adapts to the user, again using the FLUENCY system as an example.


Anne Rimrott and Trude Heift Simon Fraser University

This study investigates the performance of a spell checker designed for native writers on
misspellings made by second language (L2) learners. It addresses two research questions: 1)
What is the correction rate of a generic spell checker for L2 misspellings? 2) What factors
influence the correction rate of a generic spell checker for L2 misspellings? To explore these
questions, the study considers a corpus of 1,027 unique misspellings from 48 Anglophone
learners of German and classifies these along three error taxonomies: linguistic competence
(competence versus performance misspellings), linguistic subsystem (lexical, morphological
or phonological misspellings), and target modification (single-edit misspellings (edit distance
= one) versus multiple-edit misspellings (edit distance > 1)). The study then evaluates the
performance of the Microsoft Word spell checker on these misspellings. Results indicate
that only 62% of the L2 misspellings are corrected and that the spell checker, independent
of other factors, generally cannot correct multiple-edit misspellings although it is quite
successful in correcting single-edit errors. In contrast to most misspellings by native writers,
many L2 misspellings are multiple-edit errors and are thus not corrected by a spell checker
designed for native writers. The study concludes with computational and pedagogical
suggestions to enhance spell checking in CALL.