DIALOGUE STRATEGIES FOR VOCABULARY LEARNING User Initiative in Dialogue Systems for Second Language Learning
When building efficient dialogue systems, a major challenge is recovering from miscommunication. Analyzing human-human interaction leads to discovering repair strategies that contribute towards conversational systems able to communicate in a natural and effective way. This thesis aims to identify recurring dialogue strategies (conversational patterns) commonly used among second language (L2) learners when acquiring new vocabulary by means of analyzing second language learner corpora. We further provide a simple theoretical model along with an implementation thereof capable of reproducing the most frequent patterns observed in our data and later embedded in a vocabulary training activity designed for the second language classroom. We found instances of production problems and code-switching taking place together caused by a poor linguistic competence in the target language. We showed that learners ask (either explicitly or implicitly) for the L2 word/expression they need and, once it is provided, learners repeat it as part of the strategy for acquiring new L2 vocabulary. We believe the findings of this thesis can be of value to dialogue systems for second language learning. Future work includes an extended implementation and exploring larger amounts of data.