Second Language Studies: Acquisition, Learning, Education and Technology

Tokyo, Japan
September 22-24, 2010

Simicry - A Mimicry-Feedback Loop for Second Language Learning

Preben Wik, Björn Granström

KTH, Centre for Speech Technology CTT, Stockholm, Sweden

This paper introduces the concept of Simicry, defined as similarity of mimicry, for the purpose of second language acquisition. We apply this method using a computer assisted language learning system called Ville on foreign students learning Swedish. The system deploys acoustic similarity measures between native and nonnative pronunciation, derived from duration syllabicity and pitch. The system uses these measures to give pronunciation feedback in a mimicry-feedback loop exercise which has two variants: a ’say after me’ mimicry exercise, and a ‘shadow with me’ exercise.

The answers of questionnaires filled out by students after several training sessions spread over a month, show that the learning and practicing procedure has a promising potential being very useful and fun.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Wik, Preben / Granström, Björn (2010): "Simicry - a mimicry-feedback loop for second language learning", In L2WS-2010, paper O4-4.