Supporting Language Learners with the Meanings Of Closed Class Items

04/08/2015 ∙ by Hayat Alrefaie, et al. ∙ 0

The process of language learning involves the mastery of countless tasks: making the constituent sounds of the language being learned, learning the grammatical patterns, and acquiring the requisite vocabulary for reception and production. While a plethora of computational tools exist to facilitate the first and second of these tasks, a number of challenges arise with respect to enabling the third. This paper describes a tool that has been designed to support language learners with the challenge of understanding the use of closed-class lexical items. The process of learning the Arabic for office is (mktb) is relatively simple and should be possible by means of simple repetition of the word. However, it is much more difficult to learn and correctly use the Arabic equivalent of the word on. The current paper describes a mechanism for the delivery of diagnostic information regarding specific lexical examples, with the aim of clearly demonstrating why a particular translation of a given closed-class item may be appropriate in certain situations but not others, thereby helping learners to understand and use the term correctly.

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