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E. An Innovative Way To Learn A Second Language

Narrator: This is Science Today. New speech technology software using an interactive cyberhead may not only help teach deaf children how to speak correctly, but also help people learn a second language. Dominic Massaro of the University of California, Santa Cruz created a software program, which features a life-like talking head.

Massaro: We envision lots of applications for this, so for example if you go down to Costco now, you can buy the second language CD-ROMs, that supposedly teach you language so that you get a microphone with it, you speak in and they give you feedback about how accurate your articulation was. We envision very much the same kind of thing here.

Narrator: But rather than just hear the language, you can see the language being spoken.

Massaro: So for example, if you want to say 'Eeee' in Mandarin Chinese, it's really going to help you see how to say it rather than simply hear it. I think in any situation where you think that practice with the spoken language is important, having the visible speech there under computer control will add an extra dimension of richness that will improve that.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.