SLaTE 2015 - Workshop on Speech and Language Technology in Education

Leipzig, Germany
September 4-5, 2015

German Phonics Game Using Speech Synthesis – A Longitudinal Study about the Effect on Orthography Skills

Kay Berkling (1), Nadine Pflaumer (2), Rémi Lavalley (3)

(1) Cooperative State University, Karlsruhe, Germany
(2) Logopraxen, Ettlingen, Germany; (3) Inline, Internet Online Dienste, Karlsruhe, Germany

Acquisition of orthography is an important problem in German elementary schools. Today, few, if any, schoolbooks can claim to use knowledge of the deep syllable structure of German and its patterns for explicit orthography instruction. To fill this gap, a game described here allows children to explore the complete complexity of the German syllable patterns in analogy to phonics instruction used for English. The game is deployed on iPad and uses the Apple speech synthesis to allow children to listen to all possible letter combinations for legal German syllable structures. Through the explicit teaching of contextual Grapheme-Sound interaction, children are expected to generalize to new words in their writings that are automatically evaluated using speech technology. In the study presented here, 16 children participated in a weekly after-school session of one hour to play the German phonics game. The difference in achievement between the students and their control group were noticeably reduced by the end of the study.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Berkling, Kay / Pflaumer, Nadine / Lavalley, Rémi (2015): "German phonics game using speech synthesis – a longitudinal study about the effect on orthography skills", In SLaTE-2015, 167-172.