Published Date: 2018-02-08
Registration: ISSN 2374-3468 (Online) ISSN 2159-5399 (Print)
Copyright: Published by AAAI Press, Palo Alto, California USA Copyright © 2018, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence All Rights Reserved.
Readability assessment can improve the quality of assisting technologies aimed at language learners. Eye-tracking data has been used for both inducing and evaluating general-purpose NLP/AI models, and below we show that unsurprisingly, gaze data from language learners can also improve multi-task readability assessment models. This is unsurprising, since the gaze data records the reading difficulties ofthe learners. Unfortunately, eye-tracking data from language learners is often much harder to obtain than eye-tracking data from native speakers. We therefore compare the performance of deep learning readability models that use nativespeaker eye movement data to models using data from language learners. Somewhat surprisingly, we observe no significant drop in performance when replacing learners with natives, making approaches that rely on native speaker gaze information, more scalable. In other words, our finding is that language learner difficulties can be efficiently estimated from native speakers, which suggests that, more generally, readily available gaze data can be used to improve educational NLP/AI models targeted towards language learners.