The University of Edinburgh -
Division of Informatics
Forrest Hill & 80 South Bridge

MSc Thesis #93123

Title:Tiempo - a Call Tool for Teaching Spanish Verbs
Date: 1993
Abstract:Within the field of second language learning the conjugation of spanish verbs is a problem area which is hard to cover adequately in a normal language class due to lack of time. It also tends to be tedious and difficult for the student who tackles it outside the classroom, using text books. This dissertation traces the design and implementation of a Computer Aided Language Learning (CALL) tool to help solve this problem by providing a stimulating environment for learning to manipulate Spanish verb forms. This system, which has been named TIEMPO, is meant to supplement normal Spanish classes, not to replace them. The aim was to construct a useful working system, in the short time available, whilst keeping the design as modular as possible to ease further development and the adaptation of teaching strategies and curriculum to particular teachers and/or students. A lexicon component was designed and build in Prolog to represent the domain knowledge and act as a domain knowledge base for the tutorial session. This component was capable of analysing and generating a full range of Spanish verbs, both regular and irregular, in a wide range of tenses. The Tutorial session design was influenced by "direct method" second language teaching and by VanLehn's "learning by lesson sequences " approach. The Lexicon was tested for accuracy and limited pilot testing of the tutorial component indicated that students could learn the relevant rules from the example sequences presented in a typical session.

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