Second Language Studies: Acquisition, Learning, Education and Technology

Tokyo, Japan
September 22-24, 2010

NTU Chinese - A Chinese Language Pronunciation Learning Software

Yow-Bang Wang (1,2), Lin-Shan Lee (1,2)

(1) Institute of Information Science, Academia Sinica, Taiwan, R.O.C
(2) Department of Electrical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C.

NTU Chinese is a successfully operating online Chinese pronunciation learning software, specifically designed for giving the students opportunities to practice both their listening and speaking skills anytime and anywhere. It was a joint effort between National Taiwan University and some industry partners. The first version of NTU Chinese has been completed and made available on-line at http://chinese.ntu.edu.tw/.

NTU Chinese is able to evaluate the utterance produced by an individual learner from four different aspects: pronunciation, pitch, timing and emphasis. For those phonemes with scores below a threshold, a 3- dimensional video will show on the screen to demonstrate the actions of the vocal tract shape, including the relative positions among the lip, tongue and other articulators.

The scoring algorithm was trained with the scores given by real professional Chinese teachers, over a corpus produced by a group of real learners whose mother tongues are not Chinese. Both the above training corpus and course content currently used in this software were contributed by the International Chinese Language Program of National Taiwan University. The system to be demonstrated will have an improved scoring algorithm trained with a much more complete set of training corpus, as compared to its earlier version.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Wang, Yow-Bang / Lee, Lin-Shan (2010): "NTU Chinese - a Chinese language pronunciation learning software", In L2WS-2010, paper D2-3.