Robert Cvitkovic


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Paper presentation Measuring Speaking Characteristics with PRAAT more

Sun, Jun 19, 10:00-10:30 Asia/Tokyo

Segalowitz (2012) has identified three types of speaking fluency: cognitive, utterance, and perceived fluency. Of particular interest is utterance fluency – the features of utterances that can be acoustically measured. Utterance fluency can be further divided into three facets: breakdown fluency, speed fluency, and repair fluency (Skehan, 2003). We carried out a pre-post analysis using app-based shadowing practice as a treatment to see if participants could improve their speaking performance. Based on our analysis of speech samples using the PRAAT software, we have characterized the nature of the interaction between speed fluency and breakdown fluency within intermediate English learners in Japan; and show how app-based shadowing practice can aid in improving speaking articulation and auditory perception. Learners with a high breakdown fluency tend to have a high speech density. This combination of speech characteristics, namely, high speaking density and large number of pauses, creates the perception of a highly disfluent speaker and can cause raters on standardized speaking tests to give disproportionately low scores. We will elaborate on the relationships between these speaking fluency metrics and their implications, and briefly describe the use of PRAAT in the analysis.

Robert Cvitkovic

Workshop Create auto-grading quizzes with Google Sheets+Forms more

Sat, Jun 18, 10:00-11:15 Asia/Tokyo

In this practice-oriented short workshop, participants will learn to use Google Sheets and Google Forms along with built-in functions to create auto-grading quizzes for their students. This system allows students to review and practice key sentences, vocabulary, idioms, and/or target phrases from their class lessons. Up to 50 students can simultaneously access a Google worksheet and learn from each other’s work. When the task, either assigned for homework or done in class (no computer room necessary) is complete, the instructor can set up quiz pools from the students’ work and quickly generate auto-grading assessments using built-in functions in combination with Google Forms or any other LMS they may be using at their institution. Step-by-step instructions are given with handouts and video pre-recording for those who cannot make it live or just want to review after the event. A unique auto-grading quiz is created for each student from the work of the entire class encouraging students to learn from each other. The teacher only need spend 10 to 15 minutes checking and running the content through a few Google Sheet functions. The result is an effective assessment tool that grades itself. No previous knowledge of scripts or functions in Google Sheets is necessary but some familiarity with spreadsheets is helpful. Step-by-step instructions are given from beginning to end. Participants will walk away with a powerful teaching and assessment skill. In addition, student feedback on how they prefer the instant feedback and multiple attempts that this system provides along with their positive comments on getting to see other students' work in real time.

Robert Cvitkovic