Learning to speak in foreign languages is hard. Speech shadowing has been rising as a proven way to practice speaking, which asks a learner to listen and repeat a native speech template as simultaneously as possible. However, shadowing can be hard to do because learners can frequently fail to follow the speech and unintentionally interrupt a practice session. Worse, as a technical way to evaluate shadowing performance in real-time has not been established, no automated solutions are available to help. In this paper, we propose a technical framework with context-dependent speech recognition to evaluate shadowing in real-time. We propose a shadowing tutor system called WithYou, which can automatically adjust the playback and the difficulty of a speech template when learners fail, so shadowing becomes smooth and tailored. Results from a user study show that WithYou provides greater speech improvements (14%) than the conventional method (2.7%) with a lower cognitive load.
The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems