Journal of Information Processing
Online ISSN : 1882-6652
ISSN-L : 1882-6652
Mining Words in the Minds of Second Language Learners for Learner-specific Word Difficulty
Yo EharaIssei SatoHidekazu OiwaHiroshi Nakagawa
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2018 Volume 26 Pages 267-275


While there have been many studies on measuring the size of learners' vocabulary or the vocabulary they should learn, there have been few studies on what kind of words learners think that they know. Therefore, we investigated theoretically and practically important models for predicting second language learners' vocabulary and propose another model for this vocabulary prediction task. With the current models, the same word difficulty measure is shared by all learners. This is unrealistic because some learners have special interests. A learner interested in music may know special music-related terms regardless of their difficulty. To solve this problem, our model can define a learner-specific word difficulty measure. Our model is also an extension of these current models in the sense that these models are special cases of our model. In a qualitative evaluation, we defined a measure for how learner-specific a word is. Interestingly, the word with the highest learner-specificity was “twitter.” Although “twitter” is a difficult English word, some low-ability learners presumably knew this word through the famous micro-blogging service. Our qualitative evaluation successfully extracted such interesting and suggestive examples. Our model achieved an accuracy competitive with the current models.

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© 2018 by the Information Processing Society of Japan
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