An authoring tool for task-oriented dialogue scenarios design in EFL context
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Computer-based conversational environments have been advocated as a promising approach for providing virtual, yet realistic opportunities for communication practice to second language learners. However, the high authoring costs of such environments continue to prevent their widespread diffusion and adoption. Furthermore, there is a limited set of authoring interfaces dedicated to making the creation of dialogue scenarios in the context of language learning easier. In this research, we present a dialogue scenario authoring system that could aid the rapid implementation of desirable dialogue scenarios, lowering the barrier to dialogue scenario authoring for non-programmers or even educators. To that end, we built a pseudo-versatile dialogue scenario authoring interface that enables the automatic generation of services-related dialogue scenarios by leveraging the common underlying structure of services (restaurant, hotel, travel planning, etc.) that appear to share a certain degree of similarity at the task level. Here, we describe the proposed system’s features and present the findings of an experimental evaluation study that suggests the usefulness of our approach to facilitating dialogue scenarios designed by people with no prior experience authoring dialogue systems components. According to an evaluation of the tool by a second language teaching expert, the proposed system might also foster second language teaching and learning by allowing both educators and learners to participate in the design of dialogue scenarios that are adapted to different levels of learners.
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