ERIC Number: ED341026
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
Talking to the Computer: A Prototype Speech Recognition System for Early Reading Instruction. Report No. 91-3.
While computer software that talks has become commonplace, software that listens still remains quite rare. A demonstration speech recognition program designed for early reading instruction developed in the mid-1980s never reached the market due to the immaturity of the technology and the volatility of the microcomputer hardware and software business. The program used an interactive speech technology system (providing meaningful and appealing contexts in which young children explored an 18-word vocabulary list) that did not make many errors in recognition, compared to other low-cost systems. The four components of the software were: a training program; a story program; three games designed to help children learn vocabulary; and a program that allowed parents or teachers to enter additional vocabulary words. Three field tests of the system over a period of 6 months were conducted with 42 kindergarten and first-grade children in 2 Boston-area public schools. Results indicated that: (1) despite technical problems, children enjoyed using the program; (2) the opportunity for children to control what happened on the screen by reading words aloud was a powerful motivation to learn to read; and (3) the program was most successful with children who were just beginning to recognize words and with those having difficulty learning to read. As the prices of speech recognition systems come down and quality goes up, the experiences of this demonstration speech recognition program may prove relevant to others beginning to explore speech recognition's potential for reading instruction and remediation. (Two figures representing video images produced by the program and three tables of data are included.) (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Education Development Center, Inc., Newton, MA.