Embodied Agents in Language Learning for Children with Language Challenges

  • Dominic W. Massaro
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4061)


Given the value of face-to-face interaction in communication and learning, our persistent goal has been to develop, evaluate, and apply animated agents to produce realistic and accurate speech. We have implemented these agents as computer-assisted speech and language tutors for hard of hearing and autistic children, and other children with language challenges. Our language-training program utilizes conversational agents, who guide students through a variety of exercises designed to teach vocabulary and grammar, to improve speech articulation, and to develop linguistic and phonological awareness. We report a new experiment showing its effectiveness for school children learning English as a new language. Some of the advantages of this pedagogy and technology include the popularity and effectiveness of computers and embodied conversational agents, the perpetual availability of the program, and individualized instruction. Animated tutors offer a promising approach to language learning, human-machine interaction, and education.


Hearing Loss Phonological Awareness Language Learn Autistic Child Specific Language Impairment 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dominic W. Massaro
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of California, Santa CruzSanta CruzU.S.A.

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