Google Translate as a tool for self-directed language learning

Date
2022-02-08
Authors
van Lieshout, Catharina
Cardoso, Walcir
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center
Center for Language & Technology
(co-sponsored by Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning, University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract
This study examined the pedagogical use of Google Translate (GT) and its associated text-to-speech synthesis (TTS) and automatic speech recognition (ASR) as tools to assist in the learning of second/foreign language Dutch vocabulary and pronunciation in an autonomous, self-directed learning setting. Thirty participants used GT (its translation, TTS, and ASR functions) for one hour to learn a set of phrases and their respective pronunciations in Dutch (e.g., “I don’t understand” Ik begrijp het niet [ɪk bə'grɪp ət nit]). The study followed a pre/post/delayed posttest design that examined the participants’ learning of phrases and their pronunciations in Dutch, combined with a qualitative analysis of video recordings of their interactions with GT. Findings indicate that the participants were able to acquire Dutch vocabulary and pronunciation on a short-term basis, and that they interacted with GT’s translation, TTS, and ASR in different ways and to different extents. This demonstrates that GT is a versatile tool that can be easily tailored to suit learners’ needs, interests, and learning styles.
Description
Keywords
Google Translate, TTS, ASR, Self-Direct Learning
Citation
van Lieshout, C., & Cardoso, W. (2022). Google Translate as a tool for self-directed language learning. Language Learning & Technology, 26(1), 1–19. http://hdl.handle.net/10125/73460
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