LREC 2008

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Elicited Imitation as an Oral Proficiency Measure with ASR Scoring

This paper discusses development and evaluation of a practical, valid and reliable instrument for evaluating the spoken language abilities of second-language (L2) learners of English. First we sketch the theory and history behind elicited imitation (EI) tests and the renewed interest in them. Then we present how we developed a new test based on various language resources, and administered it to a few hundred students of varying levels. The students were also scored using standard evaluation techniques, and the EI results were compared to more traditionally derived scores. We also sketch how we developed a new integrated tool that allows the session recordings of the EI data to be analyzed with a widely used automatic speech recognition (ASR) engine. We discuss the promising results of the ASR engine’s processing of these files and how they correlated with human scoring of the same items. We indicate how the integrated tool will be used in the future. Further development plans and prospects for follow-on work round out the discussion.

Paper published in LREC 2008 Proceedings pdf. The paper summary is here [1].

Poster presentation at LREC 2008 pdf

[C. Ray Graham, Deryle Lonsdale, Casey Kennington, Aaron Johnson, and Jeremiah McGhee]