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JTCLT Abstract

Volume 13 Number 2, 2022
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Wang, Y., Da, J., & Yin, C. (2022). Intelligibility of Chinese Synthesized Speech and Learners’ Attitudes towards Its Use in CSL Learning and Instruction: A Preliminary Study. Journal of Technology and Chinese Language Teaching, 13(2), 1-16.
[王彦琳, 笪骏, & 尹承旭. (2022). 中文合成语音的可理解性及学习者对其在中文二语教学中应用的态度初探. 科技与中文教学 (Journal of Technology and Chinese Language Teaching), 13(2), 1-16.]

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Text-to-Speech technology has the potential to produce audio materials for instructional purposes. Before the technology can be used as a technological assistant tool to aid second language instruction and learning, there are second language acquisition and pedagogical questions that need to be addressed. This study investigated the intelligibility of Chinese synthesized speech and CSL (Chinese as a second language) learners’ attitudes towards the use of Text-to-Speech technology in second language learning and instruction. Data from a survey with 39 beginning and intermediate level participants from three different American universities showed that CSL learners were able to distinguish between audio recordings made by real persons and those made by computers, and found Chinese synthesized speech intelligible. At the same time, those participants also agreed that Text-to-Speech technology could be helpful and welcomed the use of the technology to assist their Chinese language learning. These findings support the idea that CSL instructors can now experiment with current Text-to-Speech technologies in their classroom instruction so that a better understanding of the effects of Text-to-Speech technology on second language acquisition and issues involved in its instructional use can be achieved.

语音合成技术在合成教学听力材料方面具有潜在的应用前景。然而,将其直接用于辅助二语教学之前,有必要深入研究其在二语习得和教学法方面的相关问题。本项研究采用在线问卷探讨两个问题:其一是基于二语学习者视角的中文合成语音的可理解性;其二是在二语习得及教学中使用语音合成技术时,中文二语学习者持何态度。 来自三所美国大学的39名初、中级中文二语学习者自愿参与了本项研究。问卷数据显示对于真人录制的音频和计算机生成的音频,中文二语学习者能够加以辨别,并能听懂中文合成语音。同时大多数参与调研的学习者均表示语音合成技术有助于提高他们的外语听力技能,支持教师在二语教学中使用语音合成技术。本研究提出现阶段二语教师可以在实际教学中尝试使用语音合成技术,这样可以更好地了解其在二外习得中有哪些效果,以及在教学使用中有哪些问题。

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