Improving Literacy Skills and Differentiating Learning Speed among Primary School Children through a Computer-Assisted Learning Tool

By Claude Beucher-Marsal, Florence Charles and Carole Le Henaff.

Published by The International Journal of Literacies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Our paper relates the development of an innovative speech synthesis tool to improve literacy skills in CP- and CE1-level primary school pupils in France (i.e. children aged 6-8 years in the first two years of primary education). This tool is a software already available on a Web 2.0 platform. Its main objective is to deepen understanding of the link between phonological decoding and encoding in the production of written texts, by taking into account correct/incorrect written responses, which is made possible by the use of speech synthesis as a means of real-time reviewing and self-correction of written work by audio feedback. In our paper, we present some key concepts associated with speech synthesis and the rationale behind the proposed exercises. Also, to assess whether the activities have a positive impact on writing, the experimental phases have been conducted in 7 classes using the platform. Video data have been collected in each class in order to identify how the platform is used as well as difficulties encountered by teachers and pupils. Interviews with the users have helped us to determine the advantages and the obstacles of this computer-assisted learning method. Based on these study results, we developed additional functions to improve the tool, that we will present at the end of our paper.

Keywords: Computer-Assisted Learning,, Speech Synthesis,, Learning Speed,, Literacy Skills

The International Journal of Literacies, Volume 22, Issue 2, June 2015, pp.1-10. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 505.517KB).

Claude Beucher-Marsal

Lecturer in French Linguistics and Educational sciences, University of Brest, European University of Britanny, Teacher Training College, Laboratory : CREAD (E.A. 3875), Brest, France

Florence Charles

Lecturer in French linguistics and general phonetics, ESPE of Brittany, University of Brest, European University of Brittany, CREAD (E.A. 3875), Brest, France

Dr Carole Le Henaff

Post PHD, CREAD (E.A. 3875), Rennes, Ile et Vilaine, France