A variety of studies in recent years have focused on assessing the relative effectiveness of different human tutorial strategies and investigating the role of language interaction ill such strategies, including (Chi et al. 1989) (Chi et al. 1994) (VanLelm, Jones, Chi 1992) (VanLehn, Siler, and Baggett 1998) (Ros4 et al. 2000). These studies leave open the questions of whether the same tutoring strategies that are effective in human tutoring can be emulated in ITSs with similar effectiveness, and whether this emulation can in fact be achieved in a cost effective way. Without answers to these questions, the direct relevance of such findings about human tutorial dialogue to the field of intelligent tutoring is called into question. While interest in dialogue interfaces for tutoring systems is rapidly growing, real progress in this direction has been greatly hindered by the tremendous time, effort., and expertise that is required to construct such interfaces. This paper describes a design for and current progress towards building DAIENU1, the Domain knowledge Authoring Interface for Extractive Natural language Understanding. The purpose of the DAIENU tool set is to facilitate the rapid development of robust and efficient natural language understanding interfaces for tutoring systems.