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Kids with OLPC XOs
Supported by the One Laptop Per Child Contributors Program
photo by Christoph Derndorfer; cc-by-sa

Please support SLICS: the Spoken Language Instructional Content development System

Also called the "Choose Your Own
Reading and Pronunciation Adventure" game:

Your donations are needed so that learners of all ages and experience levels can improve their speech pronunciation and reading with free open source web services and apps for desktop and mobile platforms.

The Spoken Language Instructional Content development System will allow anyone with a microphone and Flash-enabled web browser, Android, Apple, or OLPC device to easily use and create new pronunciation assessment and reading tutoring systems utilizing speech recognition for any language-independent practice texts. As reading or spoken language learners attempt to read phrases out loud to work through their assignments, their speech and associated pronunciation fluency will be measured by phonemes, diphones, words, phrases and aggregated phrase scores to track and chart their progress. The entire system will be published as open source and made available for free using a freemium web hosting model, initially for the world's English language learners.

Girl with mobile phone

To understand how useful and important this technology is for teaching reading as well as spoken language pronunciation, please see: Aist, Mostow, et al. (2001) "Computer-assisted oral reading helps third graders learn vocabulary better than a classroom control — about as well as one-on-one human-assisted oral reading," in Moore, et al. (eds.) Artificial Intelligence in Education: AI-ED in the Wired and Wireless Future, pp. 267-277 (Amsterdam: IOS Press.) I've been working on similar projects for almost fifteen years. Demonstration videos may be viewed at talknicer.com/demo, along with a working online demonstration.

The most important immediate benefit will be that instructors (including teachers, parents, and self studying adults) will be able to use any text with any vocabulary as the basis of a self-contained reading and pronunciation practice assessment exercise. For example, professors will be able to use text with the jargon specific to their field of research in order to train second language learning students in the field they are working in. Likewise, parents and grade school teachers will be able to select texts with a student's most troubling vocabulary for practicing reading and pronunciation, and observe the score progress as the student repeats attempts to correctly read and pronounce that vocabulary. Those capabilities do not yet exist and they will substantially improve basic through graduate level reading, and spoken language instruction.

Donation incentives

Donate $10 or more:
Be thanked by name in the source code, on the primary web site, in mobile and desktop app about boxes, and on web sites created with the default installer.

Donate $20 or more:
Acknowledgment as above, plus a bumper/laptop sticker with the project name and motto ("SLICS: Spoken Language Instructional Content development System — Teaching everyone in the world to read and speak any language.")

Donate $50 or more:
Acknowledgment and three stickers as above, and a DVD-ROM with the source code, text and speech database, and default web site installer.

Donate $100 or more:
Acknowledgment, three stickers, and the DVD-ROM as above, plus a t-shirt with the project name and motto.

Donate $500 or more:
Acknowledgment, three stickers, the DVD-ROM, and the t-shirt as above, plus up to six hours of installation and customization work on your school, business, or agency's site. This does not include the crowdsource fees necessary to enable additional practice text but does include arranging to collect the necessary pronunciation exemplars and phoneme coding.

logoJames Salsman
james@talknicer.com
June 17, 2012
SLICS
fundraiser