Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) in support of (re-)learning native languages: The case of Runyakitara.

Fridah Katushemererwe, John Nerbonne

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    Abstract

    This study presents the results from a computer-assisted language learning (CALL) system of Runyakitara (RU_CALL). The major objective was to provide an electronic language learning environment that can enable learners with mother tongue deficiencies to enhance their knowledge of grammar and acquire writing skills in Runyakitara. The system currently focuses on nouns and employs natural language processing in order to generate a large base of exercise material without extensive tuning by teachers. Language learners used the system over 10 sessions and their improvements were charted. Besides this empirical evaluation, we also sought the opinions of Runyakitara experts about the system (as a judgmental evaluation). Results from the evaluation study indicate that RU_CALL has the ability to assess users’ knowledge of Runyakitara and to enhance grammar and writing skills in the language. This computational resource can be utilized by other interested learners of Runyakitara, and the idea can be extended to other indigenous languages with emigrant populations who wish to maintain their language skills.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)112-129
    Number of pages18
    JournalComputer Assisted Language Learning
    Volume28
    Issue number2
    Early online date9-May-2013
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Keywords

    • CALL
    • re-learning native languages,
    • Runyakitara

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