Enhancing ESL Education in India with a Reading Tutor that Listens

Kalika Bali, Microsoft

March 18, 2011


Abstract

In this talk, I will talk about10 week pilot on CMU Project Listen's PC-based Reading Tutor program for enhancing English education in India. The pilot focused on low-income elementary school students, a population that has little or no exposure to English outside of school. The students showed measurable improvement on quantitative tests of reading fluency while using the tutor. Post-pilot interviews explored the students' experience of the reading tutor. I would be discussing both technical and non-technical factors that might effect the success of such a speech-technology based tutor for this demographics in India.

Biography

Kalika Bali is a researcher with the Multilingual Systems group at Microsoft Research Labs India (Bangalore). Her primary research interests are in Speech Technology and Computational Linguistics, especially for Indian Languages. A linguist by training, she has taught at the University of the South Pacific as an Assoc. Prof. She has worked in the area of research and development of Language Technology at both start-ups and established companies like Nuance, Simputer, Hewlett-Packard Labs and Microsoft Research. She has also been actively involved in development of Standards related to language technologies. Her current focus is on the use fo language technologies for Education.