Helping Children Learn Vocabulary During Computer-Assisted Oral Reading

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Helping Children Learn Vocabulary during Computer-Assisted Oral Reading Gregory Aist December 12, 2000 CMU-LTI-00-167 Language Technologies Institute, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University 5000 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3720 Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Language and Information Technologies Committee: Jack Mostow, mostow@cs.cmu.edu, Robotics Institute, Language Technologies Institute, Human-Computer Interaction Institute, and Center for Automated Learning and Discovery, advisor Albert Corbett, al.corbett@cs.cmu.edu, Human-Computer Interaction Institute Alex Rudnicky, air@cs.cmu.edu, Computer Science Department and Language Technologies Institute Charles Perfetti, perfetti+@pitt.edu, Psychology Department, Linguistics Department, and Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC), University of Pittsburgh Copyright © 2000, Gregory Aist Abstract This dissertation addresses an indispensable skill using a unique method to teach a critical component: helping children learn to read by using computer-assisted oral reading to help children learn vocabulary. We build on Project LISTEN’s Reading Tutor, a computer program that adapts automatic speech recognition to listen to children read aloud, and helps them learn to read (http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~listen). To learn a word from reading with the Reading Tutor, students must encounter the word and learn the meaning of the word in context. We modified the Reading Tutor first to help students encounter new words and then to help them learn the meanings of new words. We then compared the Reading Tutor to classroom instruction and to human-assisted oral reading. The result: Second graders did about the same on word comprehension in all three conditions. However, third graders who read

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