The roles of suprasegmental features in predicting English oral proficiency with an automated system

Okim Kang, David Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Suprasegmental features have received growing attention in the field of oral assessment. In this article we describe a set of computer algorithms that automatically scores the oral proficiency of non-native speakers using unconstrained English speech. The algorithms employ machine learning and 11 suprasegmental measures divided into four groups (prominence, filled pause, speech rate, and intonation) to calculate the proficiency scores. In test responses from 120 non-native speakers of English monologues from the Cambridge English Language Assessment (CELA), the Pearson’s correlation between the computer’s calculated proficiency levels and the official CELA proficiency levels was 0.718. The current findings provide empirical evidence that prominence and intonation are salient features in the computer model’s prediction of proficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalLanguage Assessment Quarterly
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Mar 23 2018

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

The roles of suprasegmental features in predicting English oral proficiency with an automated system. / Kang, Okim; Johnson, David.

In: Language Assessment Quarterly, 23.03.2018, p. 1-19.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle