Speech Recognition Application for Pronunciation Training
There is a large number of immigrants in the U.S. who speak English as a second language. Their spoken English may not be completely intelligible to both native and other non-native speakers of English due to errors in the production of specific sounds as well as in the prosodic features of pronunciation. This study used speech recognition (SR) technology to improve pronunciation abilities of non-native speakers of English. Ten participants were asked to read 20 sentences, 5 of which were not used in the experiment (these sentences served as control to ensure that SR training rather than just participation in the experiment accounted for any changes). Participants were instructed to read these sentences up to five times similarly to a native speaker model, which was provided to them. The extent of improvement, if any, in pronunciation was measured by tallying errors made by SR in recognizing speech produced by participants in successive production of the same sentences. There was an overall decrease in errors following training. A t-test for related samples showed a significant improvement from Time 1 to Time 5 (p=0.001).