Project

Learning Common Sense in a Second Language

It's well known that living in a foreign country dramatically improves the effectiveness of learning a second language over classroom study alone. We are designing language-teaching sequences for a sensor-equipped residence that can detect user interaction with household objects. We use our common-sense knowledge base and reasoning tools to construct teaching sequences, wholly in the target language, of sentences and question-answering interactions that gradually improve the learner's language competence. For example, the first time the user sits in a chair, the system responds with the foreign-language word for "chair," and later with statements and questions that use complete sentences, tenses, questions, materials, goals, and plans.

It's well known that living in a foreign country dramatically improves the effectiveness of learning a second language over classroom study alone. We are designing language-teaching sequences for a sensor-equipped residence that can detect user interaction with household objects. We use our common-sense knowledge base and reasoning tools to construct teaching sequences, wholly in the target language, of sentences and question-answering interactions that gradually improve the learner's language competence. For example, the first time the user sits in a chair, the system responds with the foreign-language word for "chair," and later with statements and questions that use complete sentences, tenses, questions, materials, goals, and plans.