A Prototype System for Practicing English Speaking

In this study, we developed a prototype system that helps students practice speaking English. When students speak English, they may have difficulty expressing their intentions in real time, even when they know the correct words and phrases. To think of the correct English terms smoothly, it is important that students use the language knowledge they have acquired. By using probable linguistic situations, our system attempts to check and provide information about the words and phrases learners can use. We conducted an experiment with 105 first-year Japanese university students to investigate the following research questions: (1) Does the prototype system run properly, provide questions, and save the log data as expected?; (2) When we check the learners’ answers in real time, how many evaluation items and evaluation levels are appropriate?; and (3) How should we display the results of the evaluation to ensure visual comprehension? Concerning the first question, the results of the experiment show that the system runs properly and saves the log data. For the second question, the results suggest that a few evaluation items and a few evaluation levels are preferable for checking the learners’ answers in real time. Results for the third question suggest that a color-coded table could help visually interpret the learners’ results. In this table, English sentences grouping probable linguistic situations are classified according to the percentage of the correct answers, such as less than 50%, 50–80%, and more than 80%.


本稿では,外国語スピーキング練習においてTVML Player Xと連携した問題出題を行うため,独立して動作する異なるアプリケーション間での通信を可能にすることを考え,2つの仮想シリアルポート(COMポート)によりデータのやりとりを行う方法を検討した.プロトタイプシステムを試用した結果,テキストベースによる問題情報をTVML Player X本体中のAnimeViewerにより問題提示を行うことが可能になった.CGキャラクタについては,簡単なリアクション動作の必要性や,CGキャラクタの役割と学習者の心理面への影響等について意見を得た.

A Study on a Method of Integrating AR Markers into a Foreign Language Learning System for Task-based Activities

In this paper, we investigate a method to integrate Augmented Reality (AR) into a foreign language learning environment for task-based activities. We accomplish that task by focusing mainly on two objectives. First, AR markers can be applied to integrate some objects into the language learning environment as learning materials. Second, movement of an AR-tagged object used in the activities can be recognized and tracked, based on the AR marker’s positional information. AR technology is the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real time. AR uses the existing environment and overlays digital information on it. We developed a prototype tool with the AR markers, and conducted an experiment to investigate the objectives mentioned above. In the experiment, 22 university students participated in the activities with the prototype tool. Concerning the first objective, the results of the experiment suggest that the prototype tool is easy to use as learning materials. The tool with the AR markers shows the possibility of achieving task-based style activity objectives. Concerning the second objective, an AR-tagged object moved by the learner was successfully recognized and tracked by the system in the activities.

The results suggest that the AR marker’s positional information could help track the learner’s movement in the learning activities. It should be noted that the ability to track an AR marker sometimes suffers from the problems caused by the amount of light in the classroom. Evenly distributed light is preferable when trying to identifying and detecting AR markers.