Exploring text-to-scene feedback as an alternative for second language acquisition
This thesis describes the implementation of a text-to-scene conversion system, which generates a three-dimensional graphic representation of a simple text description through syntactic and pragmatic reasoning. The program is a web-based game which allows second language learners to train their skills in Swedish through the description of 3D scenes. The scenes contain two objects with various color and size properties, and the students’ task is to describe the objects and the spatial relation between them. The program was tested in a user study with 12 participants, which aimed at exploring how two different types of feedback influence the users of a text-to-scene system in the context of computer-assisted second-language learning (CALL). The participants were divided into two groups: one group trained their Swedish skills on a version of the program that provided feedback in the form of an incrementally-changing 3D scene to signal mistakes in the description, whereas the other group’s version used a more traditional incrementally-changing colored-text feedback. The accuracy of the answers and the response times were measured to compare the two methods. The results show that both groups improved their description skills
over time, that the students who trained with the pictorial feedback answered faster and that the textual feedback group described more scenes correctly. These contradictory results, combined with a low participation rate and high
individual variation between the participants, made it difficult to draw any precise conclusion regarding differences between the two system versions, but showed the great potential of text-to-scene conversion.