Skip to main content

Web-Based Text-to-Speech Technologies in Foreign Language Learning: Opportunities and Challenges

  • Conference paper

Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS,volume 352)


Exposure to the input of the target language is crucial for successful foreign language learning. However, learners in English as a foreign language (EFL) contexts are placed in input poor environments because English is neither their native nor official language and there is a limited number of native speaker teachers available. With the rapid development of information technology, text-to-speech (TTS) synthesizers, computer programs converting written text into spoken words, provides great potential for offering learners with varied and easily accessible spoken language input. As the quality of the TTS speech sound is beginning to reach actual real human speech sound, a growing number of English instructors have been exploring ways to incorporate TTS programs in their classes. This paper intends to explore the current development of TTS technology, to identify possible opportunities and challenges of employing TTS technology in EFL contexts, and to discuss pedagogical implications and future research directions.


  • Text-to-Speech
  • EFL
  • Foreign language learning
  • Web-based learning

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD   39.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD   54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Learn about institutional subscriptions


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Guoquan, S.: Using TTS voices to develop audio materials for listening comprehension: A digital approach. Bri. J. Edu. Tech. 41, 632–641 (2010)

    Google Scholar 

  2. Proctor, C.P., Dalton, B., Grisham, D.L.: Scaffolding English language learners and struggling readers in a universal literacy environment with embedded strategy instruction and vocabulary support. J. Lit. Res. 39, 71–93 (2007)

    Google Scholar 

  3. Ehsani, F., Knodt, E.: Speech technology in computer-aided language learning: Strengths, and limitations of a new call paradigm. Lang. Lea. Tech. 2, 45–60 (1998)

    Google Scholar 

  4. Handley, Z.: Is text-to-speech synthesis ready for use in computer-assisted language learning? Spe. Com. 5, 906–919 (2009)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  5. AT &T Labs, Inc.,

  6. Sisson, C.: Text-to-speech in vocabulary acquisition and student knowledge models: A classroom study using the REAP intelligent tutoring system. Technical Report, CMU-LTI (2007)

    Google Scholar 

  7. Kiliçkaya, F.: Improving pronunciation via accent reduction and text-to-speech software. In: 1st Proceedings of the WorldCALL 2008 Conference, Japan, pp. 135–137 (2008)

    Google Scholar 

  8. Kirstein, M.: Universalizing universal design: Applying text-to-speech technology to English language learners’ process writing. Doc. diss (2006)

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

About this paper

Cite this paper

Moon, D. (2012). Web-Based Text-to-Speech Technologies in Foreign Language Learning: Opportunities and Challenges. In: Kim, Th., Ma, J., Fang, Wc., Zhang, Y., Cuzzocrea, A. (eds) Computer Applications for Database, Education, and Ubiquitous Computing. EL DTA 2012 2012. Communications in Computer and Information Science, vol 352. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-642-35602-5

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-642-35603-2

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)