Discipline: Information Technology
Technological advances such as convergence of the Internet and Telephony have brought about the creation of VoiceXML – a W3C standard markup language for dynamic voice application. It uses
speech recognition and text-to-speech synthesis, two basic voice technologies which enable users to interact with application simply through voice. Making it the appropriate tool to use for building online learning systems for speech courses. This project aims to develop a speech-driven online learning module for Oral Communication (English 3) by using the speech application as a substitute for a speech laboratory.
Speech Tutor was designed to be used by college students who are enrolled in English 3, instructors handling the subject, and English learners in general. After designing the content and the dialogues for the application, grammar files were created and a database was developed in MySQL to store student and assessment data. The application was then programmed in VoiceXML and PHP.Also,agraphicaluserinterfacewascreatedinHTMLandPHPtoprovide a visual guide to the students. It is where the students create their accounts, read the tutorials, view their scores and listen to their recordings. It is also where the instructor views the scores and links to the recordings of his students.
Using the Speech Tutor rubrics, the speech application was evaluated by English 3 students and instructors. The test users called the application through Voxeo Prophecy’s softphone. They heard the tutorials on each of the English vowel sounds, interacted with the system in the exercises, and recorded their voice while reading a sample passage. Based on the results of the rubrics, the test users find Speech Tutor effective in delivering the content of the English 3 course and improving the pronunciation of the learners. More importantly, the application has been proven to be a cheaper, better and more innovative alternative to building a speech laboratory.