Summary of the paper

Title Chatbot Technology with Synthetic Voices in the Acquisition of an Endangered Language: Motivation, Development and Evaluation of a Platform for Irish
Authors Neasa Ní Chiaráin and Ailbhe Ní Chasaide
Abstract This paper describes the development and evaluation of a chatbot platform designed for the teaching/learning of Irish. The chatbot uses synthetic voices developed for the dialects of Irish. Speech-enabled chatbot technology offers a potentially powerful tool for dealing with the challenges of teaching/learning an endangered language where learners have limited access to native speaker models of the language and limited exposure to the language in a truly communicative setting. The sociolinguistic context that motivates the present development is explained. The evaluation of the chatbot was carried out in 13 schools by 228 pupils and consisted of two parts. Firstly, learners’ opinions of the overall chatbot platform as a learning environment were elicited. Secondly, learners evaluated the intelligibility, quality, and attractiveness of the synthetic voices used in this platform. Results were overwhelmingly positive to both the learning platform and the synthetic voices and indicate that the time may now be ripe for language learning applications which exploit speech and language technologies. It is further argued that these technologies have a particularly vital role to play in the maintenance of the endangered language.
Topics Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL), Endangered Languages, Speech Synthesis
Full paper Chatbot Technology with Synthetic Voices in the Acquisition of an Endangered Language: Motivation, Development and Evaluation of a Platform for Irish
Bibtex @InProceedings{NCHIARIN16.569,
  author = {Neasa Ní Chiaráin and Ailbhe Ní Chasaide},
  title = {Chatbot Technology with Synthetic Voices in the Acquisition of an Endangered Language: Motivation, Development and Evaluation of a Platform for Irish},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2016)},
  year = {2016},
  month = {may},
  date = {23-28},
  location = {Portoro┼ż, Slovenia},
  editor = {Nicoletta Calzolari (Conference Chair) and Khalid Choukri and Thierry Declerck and Sara Goggi and Marko Grobelnik and Bente Maegaard and Joseph Mariani and Helene Mazo and Asuncion Moreno and Jan Odijk and Stelios Piperidis},
  publisher = {European Language Resources Association (ELRA)},
  address = {Paris, France},
  isbn = {978-2-9517408-9-1},
  language = {english}
 }
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