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Improving literacy in developing countries using speech recognition-supported games on mobile devices

Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp 1149-1158

Learning to read in a second language is challenging, but highly rewarding. synthesis of research findings suggests that practicing recalling and vocalizing words for expressing an intended meaning could improve word reading skills – including reading in a second language – more than silent recognition of what the given words mean. Many language learning software do not support this instructional approach, owing to the technical challenges of incorporating speech recognition support to check that the learner is vocalizing the correct word. In this paper, we present results from a usability test and two subsequent experiments that explore the use of two speech recognition-enabled mobile games to help rural children in India read words with understanding. Through a working speech recognition prototype, we discuss two major contributions of this work: first, we give empirical evidence that shows the extent to which productive training (i.e. vocalizing words) is superior to receptive vocabulary training, and discuss the use of scaffolding hints to “”unpack”” factors in the learner’s linguistic knowledge that may impact reading. Second, we discuss what our results suggest for future research in HCI.

Reference:

Kumar, A., Reddy, P., Tewari, A., Agrawal, R., & Kam, M. (2012). Improving literacy in developing countries using speech recognition-supported games on mobile devices. Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1149–1158. https://doi.org/10.1145/2207676.2208564