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Volume 6 Number 4, Winter 2009, Pages 1-296   

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Pedagogical Practice and Students' Perceived Effectiveness of Web-based Automated Speech Evaluation

    Mei-jung Wang and Hsueh Chu Chen

Automated speech evaluation (ASE) software is designed to provide instant computer-generated feedback. This study examined the pedagogical practices of a Web-based ASE (WASE) utilized in three different ways in college conversation classes and investigated students' perceived effectiveness of WASE in improving their speech. Eighty college students participated in the study. All of the participants were required to practice the lessons provided in the WASE employed in this study, MyET, and the scores were taken as formative assessment. A questionnaire was administered at the end of the course to reveal students' perceived effectiveness of WASE in terms of its instructional and user-interface design. The results show that students in the three classes did not perform differently in the lessons provided in MyET, including consonants, vowels, words, and sentences, despite the ASE's different kinds of pedagogical practices. Nevertheless, students in Class B and Class C, who practiced pronunciation with MyET in class, received similar scores while Class A, who practiced only after class, received significantly lower scores. As for the functions of MyET, most of the students held neutral attitudes. Moreover, the students in this study did not find the spectrogram and speech contour displays in MyET useful. However, Class C, who received both teacher feedback and ASE feedback, demonstrated a more favorable attitude toward the ASE than the other two classes.

Keywords: web-based learning, automated speech evaluation pedagogical practice