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Constructing Multimodal Language Learner Texts Using LARA: Experiences with Nine Languages

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Proceedings (peer-reviewed)
Author AkhlaghiElham, BédiBranislav, BektaşFatih, BerthelsenHarald, ButterweckMatthias, ChuaCathy, CucchiariniCatia, EryiğitGülşen, GerlachJohanna, HabibiHanieh, Ní ChiaráinNeasa, RaynerManny, SteingrímssonSteinþór, StrikHelmer,
Project A Crowdsourcing Platform for Spoken CALL Content
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Proceedings (peer-reviewed)

Title of proceedings Proc. LREC 2020
Place Marseille, France


LARA (Learning and Reading Assistant) is an open source platform whose purpose is to support easy conversion of plain texts into multimodal online versions suitable for use by language learners. This involves semi-automatically tagging the text, adding other annotations and recording audio. The platform is suitable for creating texts in multiple languages via crowdsourcing techniques that can be used for teaching a language via reading and listening. We present results of initial experiments by various collaborators where we measure the time required to produce substantial LARA resources, up to the length of short novels, in Dutch, English, Farsi, French, German, Icelandic, Irish, Swedish and Turkish. The first results are encouraging. Although there are some startup problems, the conversion task seems manageable for the languages tested so far. The resulting enriched texts are posted online and are freely available in both source and compiled form.