MPC: My Pronunciation Coach
STW Valorisation Grant phase 2 (nr. 11795)
- Centre for Language Studies, RU
- Centre for Language and Speech Technology, RU
- Radboud in’to Languages, RU
My Pronunciation Coach
As a result of increasing internationalization there is a growing demand from the business community for people who speak foreign languages well and the number of people who want or need to learn a foreign language is steadily increasing. However, there are not enough teachers for all of them, especially for practicing pronunciation, which is virtually impossible in a standard classroom setting. We plan to develop a computer program called ‘My Pronunciation Coach’ (MPC) that students can use to practice pronunciation anytime, anywhere. Our final goal is to develop a high-end product that educational institutions teaching English can use to support teachers in providing feedback to their Dutch students on their pronunciation of the English language.
We aim to have a complete demonstration system that will convincingly show to our customers what the possibilities of our products in education are, how the enabling technology can be used in language learning courses and to give an impression of the functionalities of MPC Radboud.
Acquiring a correct pronunciation in a second language (L2) is a fundamental skill for successful interaction in the L2 for all learners, irrespective of their educational level or career. Dutch learners of English have problems with various aspects of the English sound system. However, pronunciation can never be sufficiently practiced in the classroom because it is too time consuming.
Within the framework of ‘My Pronunciation Coach’ (MPC) we intend to develop a line of high-end computer programs that specially address pronunciation in a second language and that can be used to support and improve language learning anytime and anywhere. Advanced, dedicated technology will be developed to make this possible. Our approach and technology are unique in that pronunciation errors are detected at the level of individual words and sounds with a high degree of accuracy so that appropriate feedback and remedial exercises can be provided to the learner.