About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4498-4504
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1124

Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain

HEY SIRI, YOU ARE CHALLENGING THE INTERFACE BETWEEN THE ORAL AND THE WRITTEN. SOME BASIC REFLECTIONS ON VOICE-CONTROLLED NATURAL LANGUAGE HUMAN-SIRI TALK

B. Arend, P. Fixmer

University of Luxembourg (LUXEMBOURG)
In this paper, we investigate the conversational interface Siri as a means for operationalizing students’ language performing and understanding in pedagogical contexts [1].

Pedagogical issues related to language performing and understanding mainly focus on students’ oral and written performances [2]. We will show through concrete situations that encouraging student-Siri interaction can initiate and support language performing and understanding activities. In human-Siri interactions, a wide range of operations are indeed carried out through the dynamics of oral and written instances; oral and written language are closely interrelated components of Siri’s speech system.

The conversational interface Siri enables users to perform tasks on a smart device through natural language voice commands. In addition to a vocal reply, Siri simultaneously provides a transcription of the user’s and its own oral speech. Moreover, the written utterances are delivered with respect to the lexical and grammatical spelling rules of the operating language, and punctuation marks are made in accordance with syntactical structure. Through the visuospatial display, language performing and hence understanding are laid out before the user’s eyes and become a potential object of reflection [2]. As the student gets situated visual access to his vocal command, i.e. to Siri’s ‘doing understanding’ of the command, he has the opportunity to monitor and to assess this understanding as well as to make assumptions about next steps. The written text ‘seen’ as object of investigation invites the student to initiate (or not) a new vocal command. In this vein, we assert that Siri can be mobilised in pedagogical contexts in order to elicit and enhance language performing as well as to trigger reflection on the written word.

Nevertheless, we will also touch on some ‘pivotal’ aspects related to the interactional phenomenon of human-Siri talk actualising in (synchronized) oral and written instances. In the history of research on oral and written language, sociocultural theory inspired scientists following Vygotsky [3] ‘handle’ written language as a tool which requires voluntary and intentional efforts; the written text is considered as addressing a distant ‘other’ in quite different conditions from oral communication. So, what about Siri’s writing performance? Here, we note that Siri’s ability to provide the respective transcripts synchronously with the user’s vocal ‘intents’ or with its own oral utterance certainly deserves further investigations on dynamic interrelations between oral and written language in terms of consciousness and abstraction.
Thus, on one hand, our paper seeks to underline the potentialities of the conversational interface Siri to support language performing and understanding in pedagogical context. On the other hand, we point out how human-Siri interactions raise conceptual challenges at the interface between the oral and the written.

References:
[1] B. Arend, “Investigating Siri as a virtual assistant in a learning context”, Proceedings of the 12th annual International Technology, Education and Development Conference (L. Gomez Chova, A. Lopez Martinez, I. Candel Torres, eds.), pp. 854-863, 2018.
[2] D.R. Olson, “History of Schools and Writing”, in Handbook of Research on Writing (Ch. Bazerman ed.), pp. 283-292. New York, London: Routledge, 2010.
[3] L. Vygotsky, Thought and Language. Cambridge (Massachusetts): MIT Press, 1986.
@InProceedings{AREND2018HEY2,
author = {Arend, B. and Fixmer, P.},
title = {HEY SIRI, YOU ARE CHALLENGING THE INTERFACE BETWEEN THE ORAL AND THE WRITTEN. SOME BASIC REFLECTIONS ON VOICE-CONTROLLED NATURAL LANGUAGE HUMAN-SIRI TALK},
series = {10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN18 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-02709-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2018.1124},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2018.1124},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {4498-4504}}
TY - CONF
AU - B. Arend AU - P. Fixmer
TI - HEY SIRI, YOU ARE CHALLENGING THE INTERFACE BETWEEN THE ORAL AND THE WRITTEN. SOME BASIC REFLECTIONS ON VOICE-CONTROLLED NATURAL LANGUAGE HUMAN-SIRI TALK
SN - 978-84-09-02709-5/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1124
PY - 2018
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2018
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN18 Proceedings
SP - 4498
EP - 4504
ER -
B. Arend, P. Fixmer (2018) HEY SIRI, YOU ARE CHALLENGING THE INTERFACE BETWEEN THE ORAL AND THE WRITTEN. SOME BASIC REFLECTIONS ON VOICE-CONTROLLED NATURAL LANGUAGE HUMAN-SIRI TALK, EDULEARN18 Proceedings, pp. 4498-4504.
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