Proceedings of the joint workshop on NLP for Computer Assisted Language Learning and NLP for Language Acquisition at SLTC
The joint workshop on Natural Language Processing (NLP) for Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) & NLP for Language Acquisition (LA) – shorthand NLP4CALL&LA – is an effort to provide a debate space and collaboration between two closely related areas. Both focus on language acquisition, related resources and technologies, that can support research of the language learning process as well as aim to bring interdisciplinary advantage to the field. Individual workshop areas are outlined below.
In this paper we describe an open learner corpus of Russian. The Russian Learner Corpus (RLC) is the first corpus with clear distinction between foreign language learners and heritage speakers. We discuss the structure of the corpus, its development and the annotation principles. This paper describes the platform of the RLC which combines online tools for text uploading, processing, error annotation and corpus search.
Language exercises are widely used in teaching foreign languages; yet, manually creating exercises is labor-intensive and time-consuming. This paper describes a method for automatically generating EFL wordbank cloze exercises. These are generated from arbitrary passages in English, which is an important advantage in terms of learner motivation; indeed, the content of the exercises can be tailored to learners’ interests. Another feature of the method is exercise difficulty adjustment. Unlike other systems, our algorithm does not rely on many external linguistic resources and can be thus more easily adapted to other languages. Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the proposed method. The experiments showed that our algorithm performs significantly better than the ‘naïve’ random-sample baseline and that its precision of making gaps is 97%.
The paper describes the learner corpus composed of English essays written by native Russian speakers. REALEC (Russian Error-Annotated Learner English Corpus) is an error-annotated, available online corpus, now containing more than 200 thousand word tokens in almost 800 essays. It is one of the first Russian ESL corpora, dynamically developing and striving to improve both in size and in features offered to users. We describe our perspective on the corpus, data sources and tools used in compiling it. Elaborate self-made classification of learners’ errors types is thoroughly described. The paper also presents a pilot experiment on creating test sets for particular learners’ problems using corpus data.
This paper is aimed to show crucial points of Quine’s language acquisition conception that were criticized by Noam Chomsky. Willard Van Orman Quine tried to build a language theory in a behavioristic way using such terms as: stimulus, reaction and reinforcement. He thought that language acquisition by children could be explained as the process of ontogenesis of reference. N. Chomsky mainly objected to behaviorism and showed its weak explanatory force in language theory.
Children’s ability to interpret color adjective noun phrases (e.g., red butterfly) as contrastive was examined in an eyetracking study with 6-year-old Russian children. Pitch accent placement (on the adjective red, or on the noun butterfly) was compared within a visual context containing two red referents (a butterfly and a fox) when only one of them had a contrast member (a purple butterfly) or when both had a contrast member (a purple butterfly and a grey fox). Contrastiveness was enhanced by the Russianspecific ‘split constituent’ construction (e.g., Red put butterfly . . .) in which a contrastive interpretation of the color term requires pitch accent on the adjective, with the nonsplit sentences serving as control. Regardless of the experimental manipulations, children had to wait until hearing the noun (butterfly) to identify the referent, even in splits. This occurred even under conditions for which the prosody and the visual context allow adult listeners to infer the relevant contrast set and anticipate the referent prior to hearing the noun (accent on the adjective in 1-Contrast scenes). Pitch accent on the adjective did facilitate children’s referential processing, but only for the nonsplit constituents. Moreover, visual contexts that encouraged the correct contrast set (1-Contrast) only facilitated referential processing after hearing the noun, even in splits. Further analyses showed that children can anticipate the reference like adults but only when the contrast set is made salient by the preceding supportive discourse, that is, when the inference about the intended contrast set is provided by the preceding utterance.
This book is a collection of papers written by Russian and foreign linguists to highlight the different aspects of bilingualism. Much attention is paid to the early simultaneous and successive bilingualism in children; however, adults speaking several languages in natural settings as well as in classroom are also considered. Some chapters are concentrated on language attrition — an opposite process to language acquisition that happens when a native language for some reasons is not more used for communication. The data from Azerbaijan, English, Finnish, Georgian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Russian, Urum and Uzbek served as a base for comparison. This volume is addressed to linguists, psychologists, speech pathologists and teachers working with bilingual children, as well as to their parents.
The workshop series on NLP for Computer-Assisted Language Learning (NLP4CALL) is a meeting place for researchers working on the integration of Natural Language Processing and Speech technologies in CALL systems and exploring the theoretical and methodological issues arising in this connection. The papers in the proceedings volume from the third NLP4CALL workshop cover three main topic areas: resources for development of ICALL applications (e.g., learner corpora and coursebook corpora), tools and algorithms for the analysis of learner language (e.g., focusing on collocations, reading tasks, cloze items, pronunciation, spelling, level classification of learner production), and the generation of learning materials (e.g., exercise generators).
By using tongue twisters from a variety of folk traditions, the article demonstrates how the inevitable failure to perform a tongue twister flawlessly consists of the performer's inability to differentiate between phonemic, semantic, morphological and syntactic homonyms, thus mirroring the experience of a child learning his/her native language. The article suggests that tongue twisters serve as an artistic means for the linguistically competent performer to revisit that earlier and forgotten stage in language acquisition.
International Conference on MOOCs, language learning and mobility 13 – 14 October 2017, Naples; Italy
The paper is focused on the study of reaction of italian literature critics on the publication of the Boris Pasternak's novel "Doctor Jivago". The analysys of the book ""Doctor Jivago", Pasternak, 1958, Italy" (published in Russian language in "Reka vremen", 2012, in Moscow) is given. The papers of italian writers, critics and historians of literature, who reacted immediately upon the publication of the novel (A. Moravia, I. Calvino, F.Fortini, C. Cassola, C. Salinari ecc.) are studied and analised.
In the article the patterns of the realization of emotional utterances in dialogic and monologic speech are described. The author pays special attention to the characteristic features of the speech of a speaker feeling psychic tension and to the compositional-pragmatic peculiarities of dialogic and monologic text.