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A Multimedia Learning System Using HMMs to Improve Phonemic Awareness for English Pronunciation

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4 Author(s)
Yen-Shou Lai ; Nat. Chung Cheng Univ., Chiayi ; Hung-Hsu Tsai ; Pao-Ta Yu ; Jenq-Muh Hsu

Phonetic awareness is a critical and often neglected component in the learning of the English language. It is submitted that good pronunciation can improve upon spelling and reading abilities of children. This paper describes a multimedia (ML) learning system that is directed at children with the aim of enhancing their English pronunciation. The system uses hidden Markov models (HMMs) to analyze phonetic structures, identify and capture pronunciation errors. It provides children with targeted advice in pronunciation, intonation, rhythm and volume that is equivalent to four years of instruction. The system was tested in an informal experiment that involved thirty two elementary students that were divided into two groups: sixteen high and sixteen low achievers. It helped the low achieving group to significantly improve not only their English pronunciation but their spelling and reading abilities.

Published in:

Multimedia and Ubiquitous Engineering, 2007. MUE '07. International Conference on

Date of Conference:

26-28 April 2007