An exploratory study on the accuracy of three speech recognition software programs for young Taiwanese EFL learners

Kuo Wei Kyle Lai, Hao Jan Howard Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology affords language learners the ability to evaluate their pronunciation accuracy by comparing their intended spoken output with the transcribed text produced by ASR-based dictation applications. However, earlier dictation tools were criticized for producing low level recognition rates for non-native speech. Further investigation on the transcription accuracy of new ASR dictation tools for non-native speech is therefore necessary. This study aimed to evaluate the accuracy of three modern ASR dictation software programs with young Taiwanese learners of English. Capabilities of these ASR applications were also explored by assessing whether the transcription accuracy of high and low proficiency learners’ can be differentiated. Thirty junior high school students dictated the same 60 sentences used in Derwing et al.’s (2000) original dictation study, and their outputs were further analyzed. The results indicated that the transcription accuracy rates of high proficiency learners were comparable to the accuracy rates of native English speakers in previous studies, suggesting that current dictation programs have become more accurate in transcribing non-native speech. Results also show that low proficiency learners’ accuracy rates were significantly lower compared to high proficiency learners, indicating that the programs were able to differentiate proficient and less proficient learners.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInteractive Learning Environments
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Automatic speech recognition (ASR)
  • pronunciation
  • technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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