Developing an Automated Reading Tutor in Filipino for Primary Students

By Ronald M. Pascual and Rowena Cristina L. Guevara
Digital Signal Processing Laboratory, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering,
University of the Philippines, Diliman

Paper presented at the 2nd Philippine Conference Workshop on
Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTBMLE 2)
held February 16-18, 2012, at the Punta Villa Resort
Sto. Niño Sur, Arevalo, Iloilo City, Philippines


The current problems that the country’s primary education system are facing, such as the poor reading performance of the students and the shortage of teachers, inspired us to focus on the development of a computer software program for an Automated Reading Tutor (ART) in Filipino for primary students, an alternative learning system based on Oral Reading Fluency instruction and Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) technology. The focus on Filipino language is mainly motivated by the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education drive by the Department of Education. A children’s speech database was collected for the purpose of developing the ASR system. The speech corpus consists of about 8 hours of recorded speech of 57 students from Grades 1-5 as they read 9 different age-appropriate Filipino short stories. The corpus contains speech data from “good readers” (as selected by their teachers), and instances of reading miscues and/or disfluencies as well. Our HMM-based ASR system was trained using 1.5 hours of phone-level transcribed speech from the corpus. A Reading Miscue Detector (RMD) based on reference alignment method and word duration analysis, was built on top of the ASR system. Using an offline test set of 80 sentences from the speech corpus, our RMD has achieved False Alarm and Miscue Detection Error rates which are at par with those from state-ofthe- art systems. Our work in progress involves further development of the user interface, and the system evaluation through an intervention program for a small group of students.

Keywords: Automated Reading Tutor, Reading Miscue Detector, Speech Technology for Children / Education

To read the complete article, click on Pascual – Developing ART in Filipino for Primary Students.

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