VIEWS: 5 PAGES: 11 POSTED ON: 9/14/2012
Using TuTalk to build a tutor for Chinese pronunciation Wenyan Zhou, Vanderbilt University Tiffany Taylor, George Mason University Project concept • Tutor proper pronunciation of Chinese characters through the use of pinyin. Key Points • Chinese is a tonal language • Native English speakers often have trouble discriminating tones. • The same Chinese characters can be pronounced completely differently and have different meanings. • Even when the pinyin is the same, the same characters may have different tones, which affects meaning. • Forcing students to distinguish proper pronunciation and tone will help: conceptualize the tone as part of the word, not separate from it conceptualize that the same character can sound very different depending on context A dialogue that shows a Chinese character and its meaning, then asks students for the correct pronunciation, including tones. Feedback specific to each possible answer choice Plans to expand the question set Students are shown a Chinese character and asked to write the pronunciation in pinyin. Choosing the wrong pinyin provides feedback and choosing the “right” pinyin but the wrong tone leads to remediation 5 tones leads to 5 possible remediation branches for each question item. A lot to learn in a short amount of time! Display of Chinese characters How to teach a foreign language without audio Trying to predict and design for all possible student responses Explore the tool Attend lectures on TuTalk Read the documentation Storyboard dialogues on paper Put dialogues into TuTalk Troubleshoot with the help of TuTalk Team Revise dialogues Repeat as necessary How to author in TuTalk. To plan out dialogues before putting them into TuTalk to expedite design time. How to problem-solve. How to decipher the documentation. How to get help from the super-helpful TuTalk crew. (Thanks Jenny, Moses, and Pam!) Standardize interface naming conventions: you can “select” or “pick” depending on what you are doing. Don’t hide the choose goal/concept/say menu. Make it a button instead. Editing and saving XML directly in the authoring tool. A tutorial that walks a user through creating their first simple dialogue, in addition to the one in the manual that analyzes an existing dialogue. Clear explanations of the terminology and how the concepts relate to each other for newbies. Special thanks to Jenny, Moses and Pam for all their patience and help in troubleshooting our project!
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