13th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Portland, OR, USA
September 9-13, 2012

How Marni Helps English Language Learners Acquire Oral Reading Fluency

Ronald A. Cole, Daniel Bolanos, Wayne H. Ward, J. T. Carmer, Eric Borts, Edward Svirsky

Boulder Language Technologies, Boulder, CO, USA

We will demonstrate Interactive Books that children English can use independently to learn to read English texts fluently and expressively. The books feature Marni, a bilingual virtual reading teacher. Marni first familiarizes children with text by narrating it in the child's first language, (currently, either Chinese or Spanish), followed by narration and read along activities in English. Following the familiarization activities, students attempt to read the text by themselves, but are able to click on words to hear Marni say them. The system then provides the child with feedback on their overall fluency score in terms of accuracy, reading rate and how expressively they read the text, and highlights all words in the text scored as errors. The student then practices listening to and watching Marni pronounce words classified as reading errors, and can elect to record and listen to their own production of the word and compare it to Marni's. The child then listens to Marni produce the sentence, records themselves saying the sentence, and compare their production to the model produced by Marni. This process.independent reading, feedback on oral reading fluency, and practice listening to, reading and saying words and sentences, proceeds through two to three repeated readings.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Cole, Ronald A. / Bolanos, Daniel / Ward, Wayne H. / Carmer, J. T. / Borts, Eric / Svirsky, Edward (2012): "How marni helps English language learners acquire oral reading fluency", In INTERSPEECH-2012, 2119-2120.