Vocabulary Profile as a Measure of Vocabulary Sophistication

Su Youn Yoon, Suma Bhat, Klaus Zechner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study presents a method that assesses ESL learners’ vocabulary usage to improve an automated scoring system of spontaneous speech responses by non-native English speakers. Focusing on vocabulary sophistication, we estimate the difficulty of each word in the vocabulary based on its frequency in a reference corpus and assess the mean difficulty level of the vocabulary usage across the responses (vocabulary profile). Three different classes of features were generated based on the words in a spoken response: coverage-related, average word rank and the average word frequency and the extent to which they influence human-assigned language proficiency scores was studied. Among these three types of features, the average word frequency showed the most predictive power. We then explored the impact of vocabulary profile features in an automated speech scoring context, with particular focus on the impact of two factors: genre of reference corpora and the characteristics of item-types. The contribution of the current study lies in the use of vocabulary profile as a measure of lexical sophistication for spoken language assessment, an aspect heretofore unexplored in the context of automated speech scoring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 7th Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications, BEA 2012 at the 2012 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics
Subtitle of host publicationHuman Language Technologies, NAACL-HLT 2012
EditorsJoel Tetreault, Jill Burstein, Claudia Leacock
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Pages180-189
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)1937284204, 9781937284206
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event7th Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications, BEA 2012 at the 2012 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, NAACL-HLT 2012 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Jun 7 2012 → …

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 7th Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications, BEA 2012 at the 2012 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, NAACL-HLT 2012

Conference

Conference7th Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications, BEA 2012 at the 2012 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, NAACL-HLT 2012
Country/TerritoryCanada
CityMontreal
Period6/7/12 → …

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Linguistics and Language

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