Combining elicited imitation and fluency features for oral proficiency measurement

Deryle Lonsdale, Carl Christensen


Abstract
The automatic grading of oral language tests has been the subject of much research in recent years. Several obstacles lie in the way of achieving this goal. Recent work suggests a testing technique called elicited imitation (EI) that can serve to accurately approximate global oral proficiency. This testing methodology, however, does not incorporate some fundamental aspects of language, such as fluency. Other work has suggested another testing technique, simulated speech (SS), as a supplement or an alternative to EI that can provide automated fluency metrics. In this work, we investigate a combination of fluency features extracted from SS tests and EI test scores as a means to more accurately predict oral language proficiency. Using machine learning and statistical modeling, we identify which features automatically extracted from SS tests best predicted hand-scored SS test results, and demonstrate the benefit of adding EI scores to these models. Results indicate that the combination of EI and fluency features do indeed more effectively predict hand-scored SS test scores. We finally discuss implications of this work for future automated oral testing scenarios.
Anthology ID:
L14-1039
Volume:
Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'14)
Month:
May
Year:
2014
Address:
Reykjavik, Iceland
Venue:
LREC
SIG:
Publisher:
European Language Resources Association (ELRA)
Note:
Pages:
1956–1961
Language:
URL:
http://www.lrec-conf.org/proceedings/lrec2014/pdf/1057_Paper.pdf
DOI:
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PDF:
http://www.lrec-conf.org/proceedings/lrec2014/pdf/1057_Paper.pdf