Using Linguistic Alignment to Enhance Learning Experience with Pedagogical Agents: The Special Case of Dialect

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8108)


Empirical research showed that verbal and nonverbal alignment occurs in HCI in the same way as in HHI [1-3]. Against the background of similarity attraction [4], a “we-feeling” within dialect-origin [5] and different investigations regarding speaking variations [6,7], the present study analyses the effect of the dialectical language usage of a virtual pedagogical agent within a tutoring setting and the ramifications for the learning situation. An experimental study with a between subject design (N=47) was conducted in which the virtual interlocutor explained and subsequently questioned the subjects about medical topics in either dialect or High German (via Wizard-of-Oz-scenario). The results show that linguistic alignment occurs in both conditions, but even more in interaction with the High German-speaking agent. Furthermore the dialect-using agent was rated as more likable while there were no effects with regard to social presence. Implications for theory and development are discussed.


ECA virtual agent experimental study linguistic alignment communication adaptation theory High German and dialect social effects 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social Psychology: Media and CommunicationUniversity of Duisburg-EssenDuisburgGermany

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