elicited imitation, simulated speech, oral proficiency, testing methods


The automatic grading of oral language tests has been the subject of much research in recent years. Several obstacles lie in the way of achieving this goal. Recent work suggests a testing technique called elicited imitation (EI) that can serve to accurately approximate global oral proficiency. This testing methodology, however, does not incorporate some fundamental aspects of language, such as fluency. Other work has suggested another testing technique, simulated speech (SS), as a supplement or an alternative to EI that can provide automated fluency metrics. In this work, we investigate a combination of fluency features extracted from SS tests and EI test scores as a means to more accurately predict oral language proficiency. Using machine learning and statistical modeling, we identify which features automatically extracted from SS tests best predicted hand-scored SS test results, and demonstrate the benefit of adding EI scores to these models. Results indicate that the combination of EI and fluency features do indeed more effectively predict hand-scored SS test scores. We finally discuss implications of this work for future automated oral testing scenarios.

Original Publication Citation

Deryle Lonsdale and Carl Christensen (2014). Combining elicited imitation and fluency features for oral proficiency measurement; In: N. Calzolari, K. Choukri, T. Declerck, H. Loftsson, B.Maegaard, J. Mariani, A. Moreno, J. Odijk and S Piperidis (Eds.), Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'14) , pp. 1956-1961; European Language Resources Association (ELRA); ISBN 978-2-9517408-8-4.

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date



European Language Resources Association







University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor

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Linguistics Commons