AAAI Publications, Twenty-Fourth International FLAIRS Conference

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Impact of Word Sense Disambiguation on Ordering Dictionary Definitions in Vocabulary Learning Tutors
Kevin Dela Rosa, Maxine Eskenazi

Last modified: 2011-03-21


Past research has shown that dictionaries and glosses can be beneficial in computer assisted language learning, particularly in vocabulary learning. We propose that L2 vocabulary learners can benefit from the use of a dictionary whose definitions are sensitive to the provided reading context, and that advances in the natural language processing task of word sense disambiguation can be used to automatically order the definitions of such a dictionary. An in-vivo study was conducted with ESL students to investigate the effect that the order of definitions has on vocabulary learning using REAP, a computer based vocabulary tutor. Our results showed that students benefited from having the algorithmically determined best definitions listed at the top of the definition list. Furthermore, our results suggest that word sense disambiguation may currently be good enough for use in intelligent language tutoring environments.

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