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Intelligent Language Tutoring System with multimodal feedback functions

The core of the intended Intelligent Language Tutoring System (ILTS) constitutes apronunciation trainer with integrated multilingual speech recognition and audio-visualfeedback functionality. The system offers speech signal analysis functions relating tousers speech input. Additionally, the video signal of the mouth area is recorded andsynchronously analysed. Video signal processing allows feedback extraction fromexternally observable articulating activity and direct control of parameters like jawopening angle and lip closure. That allows the users not only to compare theirpronunciation with the tutors' one but to receive selective information on what to changeto improve articulation.Additional modules are vocabulary training with acoustic input and acoustic feedback, inconnection with listening comprehension, text comprehension, lexis and grammarexercises with acoustic input, tools for pair and group work using interactive multimediaapplications.For each of the national languages involved in the project technologies for differentpurposes are available. We suppose that digital speech signal processing and videosignal processing have great potential in regard to the creation of novel type intelligentlanguage tutoring systems (ILTS) which integrate large speech corpora and multilingualspeech data-bases. The basic concept of the proposal is to bundle scientific results andtechnological solutions in digital speech signal processing, and to implement them inILTS and in an authoring system for development of multimedia language courses(courseware system). Speech signal processing comprehends speech recognition,speech synthesis, feedback technologies using speech signal analysis, and spokendialogue systems. The chosen set of source and target languages includes widely-usedlanguages like German and Russian and national languages which are less taught asforeign languages, like Czech and Slovak. It is one of the aims of the project to facilitateteaching and self-study of less taught languages in the neighbouring countries e. g. toprovide curricula and chances for studying Czech, Polish, and Slovak using eLearninginfrastructure and computer based language courses or participating in internetcommunities of language learners. Pronunciation difficulties are one of the mainreasons why the number of German students who learn West Slavonic languages isvery low. Computer Assisted Language Learning supports creative approaches in thefield of language teaching. The didactical concept that accords best to multimedialanguage learning and eLearning systems is didactical constructivism, e. g. projectoriented collaboration of students and teachers. The implementation of informationtechnology in a multilingual language tutoring system augments interest of young peoplewho are familiar with computers and communication devices.
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