Speech Technology for Language Learning: Research & Today's Tools
Joan Palmiter Bajorek
Due to rapid advances in speech technology in recent years, tools for language learning are also transforming. This is seen through speech technologies such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant (Apple, 2016; Amazon, 2014; Google, 2012) which include automatic speech recognition and speech synthesis with text-to-speech. For language learners, research demonstrates the efficacy of technology for second language (L2) speech development and pronunciation growth (Bajorek, 2017a). Effective studies include visualizations, feedback to learners, and scaffolded activities that build awareness of linguistic and phonetic knowledge.
In this article, contemporary research and tools are explored and connected to practical teaching techniques to try out today. Contemporary free speech technology tools like ELSA and Google Docs Voice Typing, which can be used in the classroom, provide innovative diagnostic tools and voice typing available in 119 languages (Ong, 2017). This software expands learner insight into speech patterns and overall support of language exploration, leading to language acquisition.
Topics and Questions Covered:
1. Speech Technology
2. Best Practices Recommendations Checklist
3. Speech Development and Speech Technology
4. Today’s Tools
5. Pronunciation Goals for Learners
6. Future Directions
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