PARLA: mobile application for English pronunciation. A supervised machine learning approach.
Learning and improving a second language is fundamental in the globalised world we live in. In particular, English is the common tongue used everyday by billions of people and the necessity of having good pronunciation in order to avoid misunderstanding is higher then ever. Smartphones and other mobile devices have rapidly become an every-day technology with endless potential given the large size of screens as well as the high portability. Old-fashioned language courses are very useful and important, however using the technology for picking up a new language in an automatic way with less time to dedicated to this process is still a challenge and an open research field. In this thesis, we describe a new method to improve the English language pronunciation of non-native speakers through the usage of a smartphone, using a machine learning approach. The aim is to provide the right tools for those users that want to quickly improve their English pronunciation without attending an actual course. The tests have been conducted on users using the application for two weeks. The results show that the proposed approach is not particularly effective on people due the difficulty in understanding the feedback we delivered.
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