Proceedings chapter
Open access

Crafting Interesting Dialogues in an Interactive Spoken CALL System

Presented at Barcelona (Spain)
Publication date2014

We describe work carried out in the context of a project whose goal is to develop a web-enabled serious game, designed to help German-speaking beginner students of English improve their generative and auditory competence. The game, which is currently undergoing a first round of formal user testing, is intended as a self-study adjunct to normal classroom instruction. It was developed in collaboration with a secondary school teacher, with the content taken from a textbook commonly used in German-speaking Switzerland, and offers a short course of 8 interactive lessons using a combined vocabulary of about 450 words. A lesson is structured as a short prompted dialogue between the student and the machine, where the student is encouraged to use simple language in practical contexts like booking a hotel room, buying clothes, or ordering a meal in a restaurant. We present an overview of the architecture, which is designed to balance three main considerations: it should support coherent grammatical responses and reasonably interesting dialogues, but also allow course content to be constructed by personnel who do not necessarily have a computer science background. We use as an example a new strategy we have recently developed, where the central idea is to add further dialogue paths to the scripts, graded by their degree of “cooperativeness”. The system starts with a simple cooperative interaction, and opens up increasingly "uncooperative" dialogue paths as the student gains familiarity with the game.

  • CALL
  • SLA
  • Translation game
Citation (ISO format)
BAUR, Claudia, RAYNER, Emmanuel, TSOURAKIS, Nikolaos. Crafting Interesting Dialogues in an Interactive Spoken CALL System. In: Sixth International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies (EDULEARN). Barcelona (Spain). [s.l.] : [s.n.], 2014.
Main files (1)
Proceedings chapter (Accepted version)
  • PID : unige:39598

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