Second Language Studies: Acquisition, Learning, Education and Technology

Tokyo, Japan
September 22-24, 2010

Development of an Automatic Evaluation System of ESL/EFL Learners' Skills of Shadowing

Dean Luo (1), Yutaka Yamauchi (2), Nobuaki Minematsu (1)

(1) The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan; (2) Tokyo International University, Saitama, Japan

The CALL system developed in our project can enhance ESL/EFL learners’ skills of shadowing by automatically evaluating these skills in terms of pronunciation, prosodic features and overall proficiency levels. Learners are required to record their shadowing into the computer while listening to passages read by a native speaker of English. After recording, they can listen to their voices and observe the sound waves of their own recording and the model one. Through auditory and visual comparison of the two recordings, they can understand the shortcomings of their performances and where they should practice more. Learners' shadowed speech is automatically analyzed and evaluated by the computer using speech information processing technology like GOP (goodness of pronunciation), fundamental frequency (F0), power and length of pauses. Their English proficiency levels measured by TOEIC (Test of English as International Communication) are also predicted and presented. Based on the results of automatic scoring, the learners can understand how well they have conducted shadowing objectively and also grasp their own proficiency levels. From the viewpoint of material development, this CALL system enables instructors to choose any speech data obtained from CDs, DVDs, Web sites, etc, and use them as practice materials. Instructors' selection of speech data suitable for the learners' interests and proficiency levels can increase student motivation and continuous use of this system, hence improving both aural and oral skills.

Bibliographic reference.  Luo, Dean / Yamauchi, Yutaka / Minematsu, Nobuaki (2010): "Development of an automatic evaluation system of ESL/EFL learners' skills of shadowing", In L2WS-2010, paper D2-5 (abstract).